About non-profit housing

Ontario’s best investment

Non-profit and community-based housing has proven to be the most effective way to create affordable homes and keep them affordable. Strong investments help create inclusive communities that fill housing’s “missing middle” while also serving those that need support. With no built-in profit margin, every dollar goes to keeping rents affordable for the long-term.

Learn why community-based housing is (still) Ontario’s best investment

What is non-profit housing?

Non-profit housing starts from the ground up. It is created by the community, for the community. There are close to 1,500 community-based non-profit housing providers spanning 220 communities across Ontario. These diverse organizations can be found in cities, towns or rural areas. They range in size from four units to more than 50,000 units and can be made up of rooming houses, townhouses, low-rise or high-rise apartment buildings.

Non-profit housing communities provide homes for everyone, be it families, seniors, people living with disabilities, survivors of violence, and many others who are not being served by private rental housing or who need support to enjoy a successful tenancy. Some providers offer specialized supports for particular groups of people, such as Aboriginal peoples, the formerly homeless, seniors or people living with mental illness.

Many tenants living in non-profit housing have low or moderate incomes. Up to 80 per cent of them pay rents based on their income. This is known as rent-geared-to-income (RGI). These tenants spend about 30 per cent of their monthly household income on rent. A subsidy paid directly to the non-profit housing provider from municipal, federal or provincial government programs bridges the gap between the reduced RGI rent and the actual market rent for the unit.

Types of non-profit housing

  • Private non-profit housing is owned and managed by independent, community-based groups such as faith groups and community agencies.
  • Municipal non-profit housing is owned and operated by more than 100 different municipalities across Ontario.
  • Local housing corporations are owned and managed by service managers, the local government body responsible for housing, social assistance, child care and ambulance services.