ROOF Program Changes

ROOF Program Changes

Postby CLS » Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:54 pm

As reported in the Toronto Star at, Ontario is tweaking the ROOF program:

"Ontario is quietly tweaking its $185 million rent supplement program for low-income families because not enough people signed up for the 2007 initiative, the Star has learned.

The program, called ROOF (Rental Opportunity for Ontario Families), was aimed at helping 27,000 low-income working families with children. But just $135 million has been spent and only 21,500 families have signed up for the $100-a-month benefit, a housing ministry spokesperson said.

The remaining $50 million will be spent on a new program that will allow monthly benefits of up to $300 and serve a broader range of vulnerable people, said MPP Donna Cansfield (Etobicoke Centre). . . .

No formal announcement is being made because the program does not involve new money, ministry officials said. . . .

Municipalities will have the flexibility to allocate the rent supplements to best meet the needs of their communities, Cansfield said. . . .

The ROOF program was widely criticized by housing activists for being too restrictive. Only families with children under 18 with net incomes of $20,000 or less could apply. Pensioners, those on social assistance, singles, childless couples or parents with adult children were not eligible. And a $100-a-month supplement was not seen as sufficient to make average rents of $1,134 for a two-bedroom apartment in cities like Toronto affordable for working poor families. . . ."

If you have clients who might fall within the old ROOF guidelines (applications under the original program were due in 2008), you should contact your local municipality to inquire about the revised program.

Kathryn M. Bullon
Associate Legal Education Coordinator,
Community Law School
Kathryn M. Bullon, B.Sc., J.D., M.Ad.Ed.
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