Supportive Housing in Ontario

Supportive Housing in Ontario


Some seniors’ rental apartment buildings offer something called ‘supportive housing services’. This means that, if required, minimal to moderate care through personal support (which may include daily visits/check-ins, bathing, and dressing, assistance with shopping, meals, and transportation) and/or homemaking services is available to residents. There is usually a contract that details the care arrangement between the service provider and the resident (the owner of the unit is usually different from the service provider). Apartments with this option may make it possible for a senior to remain at home independently longer than they would in an apartment without supportive housing services available. In some instances, this type of service is offered in a setting adjacent or connected to another type of care/seniors’ home, which allows residents to utilize some of the services or amenities in the adjoining residence.

Personal support and homemaking services coordinated through the HCCSS is usually not available to residents of these buildings if those same services are available within the building, through another source, for its residents. The ownership, operation, funding base, and administration of monies for such structures varies and may come from municipal governments, the HCCSS, the Ministry of Housing or a not-for-profit organization such as a church/faith-based organization, seniors’ organization or cultural group. As a result, accommodation, care requirements, service providers, building amenities, on-site services such as personal care and homemaking, subsidies, and cost factors may differ from one residence to another. Rental costs are based on market rates; however, some may have subsidies available for eligible applicants. There is usually a waiting list for entry into these buildings. The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 governs the housing portion of the accommodation. If there is a specific building you are interested in finding out about, contact them directly to inquire about the application process, waiting list for service, and amount of care available.

There does not appear to be one all-encompassing list of all supportive housing settings in Ontario but there are several ways to locate something in your community.  You may wish to contact your local HCCSS, community support agency, or local housing authority to ask if they have information about supportive housing complexes or providers in your area. The Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association website ( contains contact details on region-specific access centres that can provide information or applications for non-profit housing complexes/services in Ontario (click on the box at the bottom of the page titled “Looking for Housing?” on their About non-profit housing page, accessible on the tab for About on the black bar at the top of their home page). AdvantAge Ontario’s website ( contains listings of members of their organization by area, which includes those that offer “Seniors’ Housing” (click the box titled “Find a Location” on their home page; find your region on the map of Ontario and click on it. A list of their member homes and agencies will appear below the map for that specific region). Additionally, a quick search of the internet will reveal several additional websites detailing specific information about social/non-profit housing and supportive housing for seniors throughout the province.


If you are looking for assistance locating a home or resources for your loved one, you can reach out to our consulting team at or visit our consulting page for more information. Our Discover 3 program offers decision-makers and seniors, an opportunity to have a professional consultant identify 3 housing solutions based on their needs. If you need more information on care options for seniors, retirement community, or long-term care visiting tips and/or if you are interested in organizing your loved one’s information using our Care Planning Workbook, visit our publications page for a list of options and downloads.
For additional questions, feel free to contact us at is Canada’s largest unbiased seniors’ housing database, offering consulting services, and both seniors’ service and housing directories for professionals, seniors, and their families.


59 other articles by Esther Goldstein, B.Sc., B.S.W., RSW