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Reports on Long-Term Care Homes
S E C T I O N   H O M E
Overview of Care Options
Things to Consider
Who do I Contact for Information?
Find a Community Care Access Centre
Care in Your Home
Visiting Health Professional Services
Personal Care and Support
Community Support Services
Residences Offering Care
Supportive Housing
Retirement Homes
Long-Term Care (LTC) Homes
Maintaining Standards of Care in LTC Homes
Reports on LTC Homes
Find a LTC Home
Arranging Care
Finding a Provider
Other Care Programs
Ontario's Aging at Home Strategy
Links and Resources
Glossary of Terms

Seniors' Care : Supportive Housing

Supportive Housing is designed for people who only need minimal to moderate care -- such as homemaking or personal care and support – to live independently. Accommodations usually consist of rental units within an apartment building. In a few cases, the accommodation is a small group residence.

Supportive housing buildings are owned and operated by municipal governments or non-profit groups including faith groups, seniors' organizations, service clubs, and cultural groups. Accommodations, on-site services, costs, and the availability of government subsidies vary with each building. The care arrangements between a tenant and a service provider are usually defined through a contract between the two parties.

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Singles or couples can live in fully equipped bachelor, or one or two bedroom apartments. In some buildings all of the residents are receiving care, whereas in others, only a small number of residents receive care.

Most supportive housing offers amenities such as meeting rooms, lounges and tuck shops. This housing is sometimes located on the grounds of a long-term care home, allowing tenants to take advantage of some of the programs offered by that home.

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Services typically include on-site personal care and support such as routine hygiene, dressing and washing, daily visits or phone check-ins and can include services like shopping, meals, and transportation.

Residents can also apply for visiting health professional services through the Community Care Access Centre if required.

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Accommodation costs are based on market rent for similar apartments. They can range from $600 to $1200 per month. If you are eligible, the government may subsidize your rent so that you only pay up to 30% of your household's monthly income. To be eligible for a rent subsidy, you must be a Canadian citizen, landed immigrant or refugee claimant. If you own your own home and apply for a rent subsidy, you are obliged to sell it within six months of moving into supportive housing. Local governments may set additional eligibility requirements for rent subsidies. There is usually a waiting list for subsidized units.

Personal care and support costs are funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care. You may have to pay an additional fee for optional services such as transportation, recreational outings or hairdressing.

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Government Legislation and Monitoring

The housing portion of supportive housing is covered by the Tenant Protection Act, 1997. If you move into supportive housing, the provider becomes your landlord. In some cases, the service portion is funded by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) and is covered by the Long Term Care Act, 1994. In such cases, quality is monitored by the regional office of the MOHLTC.

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How to apply

You can apply directly to the supportive housing provider (e.g. municipal housing authority or individual landlord) that you have chosen. Your local Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) can get you started by providing you with a list of supportive housing providers in your area, information about the eligibility criteria and, if applicable, the waiting times. Please refer to the Finding a Provider section for tips on selecting a provider and the Links and Resources section for more information.

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Related housing options
  • Seniors Affordable Housing
    Seniors housing is specifically designed accommodation without the on-site services. Seniors who are able to manage their own care, but prefer to live with other seniors can benefit from this option. Advantages to living in these buildings include, the social support provided by other seniors, as well as the accessibility features for people with physical disabilities. In most settings, rent-geared-to-income subsidies are available for individuals who qualify. Seniors living in these units can choose to access home and community services available in their area.
  • Assisted Living
    See Retirement Homes
  • Life Lease Housing
    Market value Life Lease projects look like condominium projects, with similar suite sizes, features and monthly fees, however, the owner on title is a not-for-profit or charitable organization. An individual purchases from the non-profit organization the exclusive right to occupy the suite they select and to use the common facilities. When the owner of a suite, or their estate, with to sell or transfer their lease, they receive the "market value" of their suite, similar to a condominium or detached home. Many Life Lease projects offer their occupants on-site support services for a fee. For more information, contact Life Lease Associates of Canada.
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Related links
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For more information
Call the ministry INFOline at 1-866-532-3161
(Toll-free in Ontario only)
TTY 1-800-387-5559
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm
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