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Canada Ontario Housing Benefit

The Canada Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB) is a monthly housing allowance paid directly to a person or household. The COHB is provided to low-income households to assist with housing costs. The housing benefit payment is not tied to a physical housing unit or a specific address, it is attached to the person or household, unlike other forms of housing benefit.

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Eligibility and Program Information

In April 2020, the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario introduced the Canada Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB) to increase the affordability of rental housing for qualifying individuals and households. This new housing allowance program provides an alternative to waiting for rent-geared-to-income (RGI) housing. 

This is an income-tested, portable housing benefit paid directly to eligible households.

You or your household may be eligible if you meet the following criteria:

  • The household is on or eligible to be on the social housing wait list, and
  • The household is in housing need living in community housing.

About the Program

What is the Canada Ontario Housing Benefit?

The COHB is a monthly housing allowance paid directly to you provided to low-income households to assist with housing costs. The housing benefit payment is not tied to a physical housing unit or a specific address, it is attached to the person or household, unlike other forms of housing benefit.

You can use the benefit to help pay your rent anywhere in Ontario. The amount of COHB you receive is not based on the amount of rent you pay, but on an assessment of your household’s total earnings and the average market rent amounts in the area where you live.

The COHB is an alternative to RGI. Your household cannot receive both RGI and the COHB at the same time. But unlike RGI, you do not have to live in social housing to receive the COHB. 

If I receive the COHB, can I stay on the Central Housing Registry – Windsor Essex County (CHR) wait list?

You can remain on the CHR wait list during the COHB application process. However, if you are determined eligible for the COHB, you will be removed from the CHR wait list when you start to receive the benefit amount.

How much is the benefit and how does it compare to RGI?

The best way to understand if the COHB or RGI is better for you is to look at the amount of money you will have left after you pay your rent.

Do I have to move to receive the COHB?

No, you do not have to move to receive the COHB. You can use it to pay rent where you are living now.

Can I get first and last months’ rent?

Eligible COHB participants who have been approved by the Ministry of Finance, who want to move, and who need assistance with first and/or last month’s rent will be referred to the City of Windsor Housing Services Department to apply for assistance through the Housing Stability Plan (HSP).

For more information, please view the COHB Information Sheet (PDF).


Contact Information

How do I apply for the COHB?

If you are interested in applying for the COHB, please contact the Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation (CHC) for further information. All COHB Applications must be completed with the assistance of designated CHC staff. Any applications not made in this manner will not be accepted or assessed for eligibility by the Ministry of Finance.

For more information, interested applicants can contact CHC by phone, email or website.