Non-profit housing in Ontario

There are almost 1,500 non-profit housing (NPH) providers in 220 communities across Ontario. They range in size from four units to more than 58,000 units and include shared houses, townhouses, low-rise and high-rise apartment buildings in cities, towns and rural areas.

Types of non-profit housing

  • Private non-profit housing - owned and managed by independent, community-based groups, such as faith groups and community agencies.
  • Municipal non-profit housing providers - owned and operated by more than 100 different municipalities across Ontario.
  • Local housing corporations - owned and managed by service managers, the local government body responsible for housing, social welfare and ambulance services.

Who lives in non-profit housing? 

Every type of person lives in non-profit housing. Many earn low or moderate incomes, some earn more. Some live alone, others live with their parents, children or extended family. Some identify as members of particular cultural communities or communities of interest, others don't. There's a wide range, like in any other community.

Because so many different types of people live in non-profit housing, some non-profit housing providers specialize in providing housing to particular groups of people. Over 40% of ONPHA members provide housing to seniors only. Others provide housing to people who require support, like the formerly homeless, frail elderly, and people living with mental illness, HIV/AIDS, or developmental or physical disabilities. Thirty-five of our members provide housing to First Nations people living off-reserve, representing 93% of such housing in the province.

Most of our members, however, provide housing to everyone who would like to live there.

What do all non-profit housing providers have in common?

Although non-profit housing providers vary widely, they do share some common elements.

  • All are non-profit corporations.  They are overseen by a volunteer board of directors, and managed by professional staff.

  • All provide affordable rental housing.  The majority of non-profit housing tenants pay rents geared to their incomes (known as RGI housing). A minority pay market rents.

  • All receive subsidies to bridge the gap between operating costs and rents tenants can afford. These subsidies come from municipal, federal or provincial government programs, along with community and charitable contributions. Some non-profit organizations receive additional funds to provide support services for older adults; people living with mental health and addictions issues; people with disabilities; and people experiencing homelessness.