Social Housing Provider Program

Housing Services is committed to diverse and creative affordable housing solutions. To help, we provide support and legislative direction to social housing providers (non-profit and co-operative) across Niagara.

About 25 percent of these units are designated as market rent units. The remaining 75 percent of units are offered to households that pay a rent geared to their income.

The rent-geared-to-income calculation is based on 30 per cent of the household's gross income, plus parking (if applicable), and an adjustment for the cost of utilities.

Differences between non-profit and co-operative corporations

Non-profit corporations

  • Privately owned
  • Operated by an elected board of directors from the community at large
  • Governed by non-profit by-laws and legislation, including the Residential Tenancies Act

Co-operative housing corporations

  • Owned and managed by the members who live in the units
  • Operated by an elected board of directors from the residents who live in the building(s)
  • Members volunteer their time to help run their co-operative
  • Governed in accordance with applicable legislation, their own by-laws and the Co-operatives Corporations Act
  • Co-operatives have their own by-laws and restrictions about pets and the rules will vary among individual co-operatives

Housing profile

There are 51 non-profit and co-operative housing corporations in Niagara.

  • 25 non-profit corporations - 1,614 units
  • 26 co-operative corporations - 1,552 units

These communities are operated on a not-for-profit basis and governed by boards of directors who are responsible for the ownership and management of their buildings.

Building type

  • 2,079 apartments
  • 140 singles / semi-detached
  • 947 townhouses


  • Fort Erie - 354
  • Lincoln - 41
  • Niagara Falls - 743
  • Port Colborne - 109
  • St. Catharines - 1,400
  • Thorold - 85
  • Welland - 378
  • West Lincoln - 56

Roles and responsibilities

  • Tenant / member
    • Households who need rent-geared-to-income accommodation must apply to Housing Services
    • Households who can afford to pay the market rent / housing charge can apply directly to the social housing provider
    • Must abide by the policies and bylaws of that social housing provider
    • Must pay their rent / housing charge by the first of every month
    • Must comply with applicable legislation, such as the Housing Services Act 2011 and Residential Tenancies Act 2006

  • Social housing provider
    • Must comply with all applicable legislation and Housing Services local policies
    • Must establish policies and procedures to ensure effective management of their operations
    • The social housing provider board has a fiduciary responsibility for the financial operations and must put in place financial and management controls that preserve the provider's assets
    • Must fill rent-geared-to-income vacancies from Housing Service's centralized waiting list according to Housing Services local policies and established legislation
    • Must report to Housing Services on an annual basis
  • Housing Services
    • Administers the Affordable Housing Program in Niagara
    • Conducts regular operational reviews on all social housing providers to ensure compliance with applicable legislation and to share best business practices
    • Determines, calculates and approves subsidy payments to social housing providers
    • Provides training and support to social housing provider boards and staff
    • Conducts financial and other investigations
    • Establishes local policies
    • Develops and implements strategies to ensure social housing provider assets are maintained in the long term

Page Feedback Did you find what you were looking for today?