Below are a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding tenancy & some changes in our operations during COVID-19.
If we do not answer any of the questions you have on this page, please contact our office for more information.
Is Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services still open?
Absolutely! OAHS will continue our operations with adjustments made to promote physical distancing and proper health & safety practices. Our operating hours continue to be from 8AM-4PM, and all of our contact information is on our website. Our office buildings are closed to the public until further notice.
Do I have to pay my rent?
Yes, rent is still payable at the beginning of each month but we understand this is a difficult time, and we want you to be able to maintain your housing for the long-term. Please continue to pay your rent as normal if you can. If you are in a Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) unit and have experienced a drop in income, please contact our office to have your rent re-calculated. There are also certain increases in various government income supports that can provide additional assistance to help you pay your rent and these are discussed below. If you cannot pay all your rent, please call or email us so that we can work with you on a payment schedule and so we can provide direction to other resources that may be available for you.
Even if evictions for non-payment of rent are temporarily paused, your rent is still due. Rent that is not paid will continue to be added to your Arrears account. We understand this is an unprecedented time and we will discuss situation with any of our tenants to work together on successful short and long-term tenancies and housing services.
Am I able to be evicted/still getting evicted?
Evictions for non-payment of rent are temporarily suspended; however, you can still be evicted for other reasons including causing damage or serious problems among other reasons.
With respect to the payment of rent, please pay what you can and contact our office to make temporary arrangements. Please note the provincial and federal governments have not canceled rent payments. Unpaid rent will continue to accrue which is why it is so important to work with us to ensure a payment plan is in place and that you access additional government resources to have the revenue to keep your account as current as possible.
What happens if I lose my job/get laid off? What additional income supports are available to help me pay my rent?
We will absolutely assist if you feel you cannot make a rent payment (or possibly more months moving forward) using the tools we have. For Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) tenants, if you have had a change in income after March 13th, 2020, you can contact our office to have your rent re-calculated. If you are in affordable housing units, you may contact our office to see if there are available rent supplements that can be used during this time. Below is a list of options where you can receive financial aid for your rent:
- Ontario Works (OW) and Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) basic and shelter allowances will continue.
- The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a taxable benefit that would provide $2,000 a month for up to four months for workers who lose their income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/news/2020/03/introduces-canada-emergency-response-benefit-to-help-workers-and-businesses.html
- Various income supports are being increased on a one-time basis by the Government of Canada including:
- Canada Child Tax Benefit
- HST Credit
- Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for seniors
For a full list of resources, click here.
I received my VOI package and I’m not going to the bank for a statement until I absolutely have to. How can I submit this to see if my rent has changed?
Under the circumstances, we understand and will allow more time but do your best to send us the info as soon as possible for us to let you know in plenty of time if your rent amount has changed. OAHS is also working on creating an online form for you to submit to the office for a quicker response.
If you have the technology, you may also submit your information by email to the Housing Services Representative assigned to your account.
What do I do if my home needs repair?
If you feel you require a repair on your unit, please follow standard procedures and contact the maintenance department via phone or online to submit your request (see below). Our maintenance team will create a work order based on the information you have provided and it will immediately be assigned to a field representative in your area. Representatives are currently prioritizing repairs based on Health & Safety measures and will contact you accordingly.
Phone (8:00am-4:30pm EST): 1-866-391-1061 ext. 115
Online Maintenance Request Form : https://www.ontarioaboriginalhousing.ca/maintenance-request-form
What if I have submitted a maintenance request and have not heard back within a couple of days?
Each maintenance request will be reviewed by the field representative in your area and be prioritized. Top priority will be given to any requests that pose any immediate health & safety concern to our tenants. If your request is an emergency and you have not heard from an OAHS representative please contact our maintenance department to follow up if you have not heard back, and if it is outside of business hours please, contact our emergency after-hours line as stated below. All other general requests are documented and will be taken into consideration for future forecasted repairs and addressed according to priority.
What do I do in case of a maintenance emergency?
Based on the nature of submission time of your request please see responses below:
Life-Threatening: If your emergency is life-threatening please contact 911 immediately.
During Office Hours: If your emergency is during OAHS office hours of 8:00 am – 4:30 pm EST, please contact our maintenance line at 1-866-391-1061 ext. 115. Our maintenance department will forward your request marked as an emergency to the field representative in your area to be reviewed immediately. Our maintenance team will then create a work order so your request is documented.
After Hours: If you need to submit an emergency maintenance request outside of our standard business hours please contact our main number at 1-866-391-1061. You will be forwarded to our after-hours center that will dispatch a contractor in your area to address your repair. If it is deemed that your repair is not an emergency, your request will be forwarded to our maintenance line to create a work order, which will then be followed up on as per standard maintenance request procedures.
I come into an OAHS office to pay for my rent or I do a money order. Will this process continue?
We are encouraging all tenants to pay their rent through Pre-Authorized Payments that come out of a select bank account at the usual due date. This can be done by filling out a form that is available on our website under “Resources” for Tenants & Homeowners. This will encourage paper-less and contact-less payment that is automatic every month. This form can be scanned and e-mailed to the following addresses based on your location:
- Northwestern & Southeastern Ontario: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Northeastern & Southwestern Ontario: email@example.com
For those who do not have access to a computer/scanner, you can also take a picture of your form and email it to one of the above addresses.
I live in a rental unit with a set rent per my lease. Early in 2020, I received an annual Notice that my rent was increasing. Is there anything you can do?
For rental units, OAHS is stopping the rental increases for 3 months; this will be reviewed again in June. In other words, your rental charge for March 1st, 2020 will be your rental charge for April 1st, May 1st, and June 1st. If you already paid the higher amount on April 1st, OAHS will automatically be issuing you a refund to the bank account from where your rent is paid. This refund will occur in April and we thank you for your patience. However, an increase in rent will occur if your household composition changes resulting in a greater number of people living in your home. We hope this rent increase deferral will help you during this difficult time.