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3. Information for homeowners/ residential tenants

3.1 Eligibility and documentation requirements

To qualify as a homeowner or tenant, you must be the owner of the property, or the tenant of the affected property, at the time of the disaster. The property must be your primary residence where you live on a day-to-day basis. Secondary residences such as recreational properties are not eligible under the program.

Only homeowners may apply for structural repairs.

Documents to be submitted with homeowner/residential tenant applications:

To establish your eligibility under the homeowners/ residential tenants’ category, you are required to submit copies of the following documents. Please retain originals in case we ask to see them.

  • the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians application form with all sections relevant to homeowners/ residential tenants completed
  • a copy of a valid provincial driver’s license or valid Ontario photo card. If the address does not match the address of the property that was damaged in the disaster, or if you do not have either of these documents, attach an explanation and provide copies of two documents to substantiate the property as your primary residence. These documents may include the front page of your insurance policy stating the property is your primary residence, a bank statement or credit card statement, or a current income tax or Canada Pension Plan statement
  • if you are a tenant, a copy of your lease. If you do not have a written lease, you may submit a signed letter from your landlord confirming your tenancy
  • if you are a homeowner, a copy of your property tax bill or a copy of legal documents establishing ownership of your home
  • if you have insurance, a letter from your insurance company that details the type and cause of damage or loss, the amount that was covered under insurance, and the reason any portion of the damage or loss was not covered. If you have no insurance, you must provide a signed attestation letter stating that you do not have insurance
  • documentation to support each of the costs you are applying for.
  • You should submit photos or other evidence that items you are applying for were damaged in the disaster. You must also submit copies of receipts or invoices to support the costs you incurred.

See Section 3.3 for specific documentation requirements for different eligible items

3.2 Special provisions for low-income households

If you wish to apply under the special provisions for low-income households, please indicate so on your application form.

Additional documents to be submitted if you wish to apply under the special provisions for low-income households thresholds:

  • completed application for special provisions for low-income households form found on the program website
  • copies of the Canada Revenue Agency’s notice of assessment for the most recent tax year for all adults in your household. The program’s low-income thresholds are based on household income, so a notice of assessment must be provided for each adult living in the household.

3.3 Eligible items

As a homeowner/ residential tenant, you may be eligible for assistance for the following costs. Please ensure that you list each item being applied for in your application form and that you include supporting documentation such as photographs of damage and receipts for the items you are applying for. Costs must be reasonable given the type and value of the item being applied for.

3.3.1 Emergency evacuation and living expenses

  • Transportation costs to evacuate members of your household a reasonable distance out of the affected area, in the event it is unsafe to remain in your home. Attach receipts where available. If the evacuation is carried out using an owned vehicle, eligible costs will be based on a standard rate per kilometre (see program website for current rates).
  • Temporary living expenses for accommodations and meals, if evacuation is required. Eligibility is limited to the immediate emergency period only. Attach receipts.
  • Emergency clothing or personal care items, if evacuation is required. Attach receipts
  • Boarding of pets at kennels, if evacuation is required. Eligibility is limited to the immediate emergency period only. Attach receipts.
  • Transportation and storage of essential property, if required to avoid damage. Attach receipts.
  • Purchase of drinking water if regular water source is unavailable or unsafe due to the disaster. Attach receipts.
  • Purchase of consumable heat, light and power supplies, such as fuel, candles and batteries, if power is unavailable due to the disaster. Attach receipts.
  • Rental of generator or heater, if power is unavailable due to the disaster. Attach receipts.

3.3.2 Emergency measures, cleanup, disinfection and disposal expenses

  • Emergency measures directly taken to prevent or limit damage to your primary residence. Eligible costs may include purchase of sandbags or rental of water pumps or generators. Costs associated with emergency measures taken to prevent or limit damage to non-essential elements of the property such as sheds or swimming pools may not be applied for. Attach receipts.
  • Hours worked by you or members of your household doing your own cleanup and disinfection necessary to make your home or property safe and provide access. Reimbursement is limited to 40 hours of work at the Ontario minimum wage. Provide a record of hours spent and work completed. Hours must be reasonable based on the amount of damage to the home. Work undertaken by neighbours or others on a volunteer basis should not be included.
  • Consumable cleaning and disinfection supplies. Attach receipts.
  • Rental of cleanup equipment such as dehumidifiers and wet/ dry vacuums. Attach receipts.
  • Cleanup and debris removal completed by a contractor that is necessary to make your property safe and provide access. Eligible costs include removal of excess water, removal and disposal of damaged items or building materials to prevent mould or other hazards, and removal of hazardous tree branches or other debris on the property to the extent necessary to provide safe access. Attach invoices and receipts, ensuring they include a description of the work completed.
  • Fees for reconnection of gas or electricity services disconnected due to the disaster. Attach bill from service provider or invoice/ receipt.
  • Landfill tipping fees for disposal of debris or damaged property arising from the disaster. Attach receipts.

3.3.3 Repair and replacement expenses

Assistance for repair and replacement expenses is based on the cost of returning essential property to a basic functional level. Assistance is not based on full replacement cost.

3.3.3.1 Structural expenses

Only homeowners are eligible to apply for structural expenses. Tenants may make applications for personal property only.

  • Necessary repairs to a primary residence, including repairs to the foundation, structure (floors, ceilings and walls), roof, chimney, and plumbing, heating and electrical systems. Eligible costs will be based on standard construction costs. Costs for upgraded finishes are ineligible. Repairs to damage that predates the disaster are not eligible. Attach receipts for work already completed. For work not yet completed, provide estimates from qualified contractors. You will be asked to submit receipts when the work is completed.
  • Cleaning, flushing, repair or replacement of septic tanks and, and repair or replacement of leaching beds, due to damage caused by the disaster. Attach receipts and evidence of when the septic system was installed or rebuilt.
  • Note: eligible costs for replacement are calculated on a depreciated basis.
  • Repairs to driveways to the extent required for safety and access. Attach receipts.

3.3.3.2 Essential contents

A list of eligible essential property and the associated eligibility cap is available on the program website. The cap for the item is based on the costs of a basic model. The program does not provide assistance based on full replacement value. In all cases, photographs or other evidence that the property was damaged or destroyed in the disaster is required along with a receipt for repair or replacement. Eligible items include:

  • essential appliances including furnace, hot water heater, refrigerator, freezer, stove/range, clothes washer and clothes dryer
  • basic furnishings including bedroom furnishings for each household member, dining table and chairs, and seating and other furnishings for the main gathering area
  • essential equipment for infants and children such as crib, stroller, and car seat or booster seat
  • other essential household property including bed linens, kitchen items and window coverings
  • basic household electronics including one television, one telephone and one computer
  • essential personal items including clothes, towels and toiletries

3.4 Ineligible items

The following costs are not eligible to be applied for under Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians as a homeowner or residential tenant:

  • any expenses incurred as the result of a sewer backup unless you qualify for the special provisions for low-income households
  • replacement of items not considered essential property under the program. These include luxury items such as jewelry or cosmetics, personal electronics such as cell phones (other than the single allowable telephone per household) and cameras, recreational property such as sports equipment, and collectibles and antiques
  • restoration of landscaping, fencing, or retaining walls
  • driveway repairs other than those required for safety or access
  • replacement of finishes such as drywall and flooring in non-essential and recreational basement areas. Eligible costs for basements include the replacement of finishes for essential living spaces only, such as a primary bedroom for a member of the household or a main living room. For recreation rooms and other non-essential basement areas, only the replacement of damaged insulation and vapour barriers is eligible
  • repair of structural damage to a secondary residence such as a cottage or other recreational property. A secondary residence is any residence in which you do not ordinarily reside
  • improvements to the property or repairs above a basic level. Eligible amounts for repairs will be based on standard building costs and use of standard building materials, not upgraded materials
  • insurance deductibles

3.5 Personal checklist

This checklist may assist you with tracking tasks related to your Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians application. You may need to complete additional tasks not listed below, and not all tasks may be needed to complete your application, depending on your circumstances. The tasks below are not necessarily listed in the order in which they should be completed. You do not need to submit this checklist to apply for assistance.

Personal checklist
CompletedTask
 Check if your home is located in an area for which the program is activated, and the deadline for application submissions on the program website.
 Inventory your losses. Take photographs of the damaged property to provide evidence it was damaged in the disaster.
 Contact your insurance company to get documentation detailing which damage will be covered by your insurance policy.
 Keep records describing what cleanup you have done and receipts for emergency costs.
 Keep estimates, invoices and receipts for repairs to or replacement of damaged items.
 Check your eligibility for the special provisions for low-income households.
 Fill out relevant sections of the Disaster Recovery Assistance for Ontarians application form, which is available on the program website.
 Attach copies of supporting documents as outlined in the information for homeowners/ residential tenants section of these guidelines to the application.
 Before the deadline posted on the program website, submit the completed form and all applicable supporting documentation. Retain a copy of the application form and the originals of all documentation.
Updated: May 03, 2022
Published: October 26, 2018