Income and asset limit rules
This section provides an overview of amendments to Ontario Regulation 367/11 under the Housing Services Act, 2011 (HSA) which require service managers to set local income and asset limit eligibility rules for rent-geared-to-income (RGI) assistance.
Prior to the regulatory amendments, service managers could set local income and asset limit eligibility rules for RGI assistance. If a service manager chose to set local asset and/or income limits, they had to meet the requirements set out in regulation. However, the HSA did not require service managers to set income and asset limits. This led to inconsistencies in how eligibility for rent-geared-to-income assistance is determined across the province.
Overview of changes
Ontario Regulation 367/11 is amended to require service managers to set local income and asset limit rules to determine eligibility for RGI assistance.
As part of the amendments, service managers are required to:
1. Set local income limits.
- The income limits must be at least the Household Income Limits (HILs) prescribed for their service area under Ontario Regulation 370/11.
- In alignment with RGI calculation rules in Ontario Regulation 316/19, household income will be based on net income (line 23600) as indicated on the notice of assessment of household members, less any Registered Disability Savings Plan income and plus any Registered Disability Savings Plan amounts repaid.
- The income of full-time students will be excluded from determining household income.
- Service managers continue to have flexibility to set different income limits for units of different types and sizes and for units in different parts of their service area.
- Service managers continue to have flexibility to exclude payments from household income (for example, universal child care benefits).
2. Set local asset limits.
- The asset limit must be at least $50,000.
- Service managers are allowed to set different asset limits by household size and type (for example, senior households).
- Service managers continue to have flexibility to set different asset limits for units of different types and sizes and for units in different parts of their service area.
- The current list of required asset exclusions in regulation is updated so that registered retirement plans (including Registered Retirement Savings Plans and Registered Retirement Income Funds) are excluded from the value of household assets.
- Service managers continue to have flexibility to exclude additional assets from the value of household assets (for example, compensation payments for pain and suffering).
3. Periodically review and update their local income and asset limit rules.
Applying the new required local income and asset limits to households
Service managers are required to apply local income limits as part of determining initial eligibility for RGI assistance (including new RGI applicants and applicants on waitlists) and apply local asset limits as part of determining both initial and continued eligibility for RGI assistance (including new RGI applicants, applicants on waitlists, and households in receipt of RGI assistance).
Service managers are required to exempt social assistance clients (Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program clients) from their local asset limit rules. This exemption only applies in cases where all household members are part of a social assistance benefit unit.
Local income and asset limit rules must allow service managers the flexibility to exempt households from these rules in extenuating circumstances (including when the applicant is a survivor of domestic violence/human trafficking).
Households can contact their local service manager to find more information on local income and asset limit rules for RGI assistance eligibility and how they may be impacted. Find your local service manager.
Date in effect
The amendments to Ontario Regulation 367/11 related to local income and asset limit rules are in effect as of July 1, 2022. Service managers have a one-year implementation period from the in-force date to meet the new requirements. All service managers must comply with the new requirements by July 1, 2023.
Until the service manager implements the new income and asset limit requirements, any local eligibility rules that were made by the service manager continue to apply.
Service managers are required to make reasonable efforts to notify households before implementing the new requirements.