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Housing

Current COVID-19 restrictions

For information about outreach, isolation and physical distancing centres, shower and washroom facilities and shared laundry facilities, visit our COVID-19 housing section.

Services are available for the Rent Supplement program as follows:

  • In-person, by appointment only
  • Limited service from 9 am to 3 pm
  • Staff will continue to provide telephone and email service from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday to Friday
  • A document drop box is available at 100 Constellation Drive for clients of the Rent Supplement program

The City continues to support residents experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless through emergency shelters, support services and outreach. Funding for homelessness programs continues. Some agencies are closed, but staff are available by phone. Agencies that are open have reduced staffing, are social distancing and are following strict hygiene procedures.

The Social Housing Registry continues to provide telephone and email service for residents. No in person or counter services are available at this time, but a document drop box is available on site. People fleeing domestic violence can continue to apply for priority housing.

Housing providers are checking in with vulnerable tenants over the phone.

Residential Services Homes (Domiciliary Hostels)

Addressing homelessness

People experiencing homelessness in Ottawa.

Learn More

Our 10 Year Housing & Homelessness Plan

Our 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan (“the Plan”) builds on our current responsive approaches to housing and homelessness with an enhanced focus on prevention and support through system integration.

Learn More

Success stories

Cheryl’s story

Cheryl was just like you or anyone else, living a regular life. She had her own business and a full life. She knew who she was and where she was going.

For Cheryl, a diagnosis of cancer changed everything. Treatments took their toll on her, both physically and emotionally. The financial pressures started to mount, something Cheryl was simply not able to deal with on top of her illness and treatments.

As time wore on, Cheryl started to regain her physical health but still had not dealt with the emotional trauma of breast cancer. During this time, Cheryl’s bills continued to pile up and she ended up losing her home. Cheryl did not know where to turn, where to get help. She was alone, afraid and homeless.

Cheryl was told of a relatively new program, run by the City and the YMCA-YWCA, for women who are homeless or at risk for becoming homeless. Cheryl made contact. Thankfully, there was an opening and Cheryl not only found a place to live, but also a place to heal and get back on her feet. The TRY program provides a safe and caring environment where Cheryl could access the help and support she needed. Cheryl was also accepted and supported by the other program participants, as they were all on a similar journey.

Cheryl is now taking her life back. For the first time in a long time, she has hope for her future. With the help of a TRY counsellor, she is setting life goals and is looking forward to living independently again soon. Cheryl wants to say thank you to everyone who has made this program possible. “Its investments like these that positively affect so many lives in our community, including mine”.

Cheryl went from a successful working woman to being homeless in a matter of months. “Look at me”, said Cheryl, “I could be your sister, your mother, your brother, your daughter or your friend.”

A tragedy tore Cheryl’s life apart but the gift of a supportive community-based program is helping her put her life back together.

Gilles' story

Gilles grew up in a family that struggled financially and had issues with addictions. In his neighbourhood, it was either fight or flight. So Gilles fought. Time and time again he found himself in juvenile detention. The last time Gilles went home, he found his mother and siblings gone. No one could tell Gilles where his family had gone. He was 15 years old, alone and homeless; his new home was the streets of Ottawa.

A local police officer told Gilles about the Youth Services Bureau (YSB), a local agency that helps young people get back on their feet. Reaching a “fork in the road”, Gilles had a choice to make. He could choose life on the street or he could ask for help. Recognizing the dangers of living on the streets, Gilles decided to give the Youth Services Bureau a shot. City and YSB staff helped Gilles apply for financial assistance, find temporary housing and locate a high school near his ‘new’ home. Everyone was so nice to Gilles and he was bound and determined not to let himself or the people that helped him down.

In the end, Gilles made everyone extremely proud. He graduated high school, continues to play competitive rugby and volunteers with Habitat for Humanity. Today Gilles attends college and expects to graduate as a Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Technician next year.

Tenant rights

Property standards

Tenants who live in housing in need of repair should first work with their landlord or property management company. Comments to the landlord or property manager should be put in writing and the tenant should keep a copy.

After a reasonable amount of time, if the repairs have not been carried out, tenants should contact Property Standards at the City of Ottawa. The City inspects buildings and properties when there is a complaint concerning the interior or exterior condition and the safety of residents.

Property standards inspections ensure and enforce compliance with City by-laws regulating property maintenance and occupancy standards. Property Standards may be contacted by calling 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401).

Tenant supports

If you live in Ottawa and are searching for rental housing, have a conflict with your landlord or are at risk of eviction, there are several organizations that can provide support and guidance.

  • Housing Help
    • A one-stop, drop-in service for all Ottawa residents who have housing problems or questions
    • 309 Cooper Street, Suite 502
      Ottawa, ON, K2P 0G5
      Tel: 613-563-4532
      Fax: 613-563-8019
  • Action-Logement
    • A charitable organization devoted to assisting low-income individuals and families to find and maintain safe, affordable and adequate rental housing
    • 261 Montreal Road
      Ottawa, ON, K1L 8C7
      Tel: 613-562-8219
      Fax: 613-241-1526
  • Community Legal Services of Ottawa
    • Provides free legal help to people of low income
    • Community Legal Services of Ottawa – Downtown
      1 Nicholas Street, Suite 422
      Ottawa, ON, K1N 7B7
      Tel: 613-241-7008
      Fax: 613-241-8680
    • Community Legal Services of Ottawa - South
      1355 Bank Street Suite 406
      Ottawa, ON K1H 8K7
      Tel. 613-733-0140
      Fax 613-733-0401
    • Community Legal Services of Ottawa - West
      1299 Richmond Road
      Ottawa, ON K2B 7Y4
      Tel. 613-596-1641
      Fax 613-596-3364
  • Clinique Juridique Francophone de l'Est d'Ottawa
    • Offers legal assistance to francophone tenants
    • Vanier Community Service Centre
      290 Dupuis Street
      Ottawa, ON, K1L 1A2
      Tel: 613-744-2892

Landlord and Tenant Board

The Residential Tenancies Act, 2006 (RTA) sets the rules for most residential rental housing in Ontario. The Landlord and Tenant Board provides information about the RTA and resolves disputes between residential landlords and tenants. The former Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal is now known as the Landlord and Tenant Board.

For more information about the rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, please visit the Landlord and Tenant Board website.

Discrimination and human rights

  • Centre for Equality Rights in Accommodation
    • ​CERA is a not-for-profit charitable organization dedicated to preventing evictions and ending housing discrimination across Ontario
    • Please note that CERA is not a legal clinic and are not able to meet with clients in person. Please contact CERA by phone or email to discuss your situation.
    • 215 Spadina Avenue, Unit 164
      Toronto, ON, M5T 2C7
      Tel: 416-944-0087
      Toll-Free: 1-800-263-1139, ext. 1
      Email: cera@equalityrights.org