affordable housing

According to CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation), housing is “affordable” if it costs less than 30% of a household’s gross income.

Rent-geared-to-income housing, below market rent housing, and supportive housing can all fall under the category of affordable housing

affordable housing crisis

Far more people need an affordable place to live than there are available options. In other words, the supply of subsidized housing is not keeping up with the number of people who need it.

Too many people face a combination of rising housing costs, stagnating incomes or income insecurity, and budgeting challenges. The increasing cost of home ownership means more and more people in Ottawa and across Canada are renting. Rents are going up everywhere.

assigned priority

If your safety or health are at risk, or if you are experiencing homelessness, you may be get prioritized on the list of people awaiting subsidized housing in Ottawa

housing providers

Providers of rent-geared-to-income housing, Affordable Housing, and supportive housing;

  • can be co-ops, non-profit housing, and rooming houses;
  • can be neighbourhood-specific (like Kanata Co-operative), culturally-based (like Muslim Non Profit Housing), or cater to a particular demographic (like Asher Christian Seniors)

non-market housing

Housing protected from market forces that dictate what housing should cost (lending rates, mortgages, and rents)

  • typically owned or operated by a government or non-profit body and rented at low/moderate rates
  • co-ops and non-profit housing are types of non-market housing

rent-geared-to-income (RGI) housing

A form of subsidized housing where your rent is based on what you earn—usually 30% of your gross monthly income—and changes when your income changes;

The balance is covered by the government or a private organization – this is called a subsidy



social housing

government-assisted housing that provides lower cost rental units to households with low-to-moderate incomes;

can include:

  • public housing (owned directly or indirectly by service managers)
  • not-for-profit and co-operative housing
  • rent supplement programs (often in the private market)
  • rural and Indigenous housing

subsidized housing

where you pay rent based on what you can afford, not on the size or type of housing you live in

  • can be a single room, an apartment with 1 or more bedrooms, a townhouse, rooming houses, and places for folks with accessibility needs like wheelchair access
  • subsidized housing exists for people for whom regular rents or a mortgage are out of reach

supportive housing

combines permanent housing with access to supportive services as one of the benefits of living there

The Registry

short name for Social Housing Registry of Ottawa