I need help, I am unable to pay rent

Did you know you can get grants and/or loans from Rent Banks across major cities of Ontario to assist with rent costs?

Author: Openroom HQ

Published: Tuesday, August 1, 2023 | Updated: Tuesday, August 1, 2023

The Outrageous Inflation Crisis

The annual inflation rate is 4.560% as of August 2023 (Reference: Inflation Calculator), and this is causing prices to increase across the board for basic necessities such as groceries, fuel, and more.

(Ugh, is the government doing anything about it?! ) 😥

Due to the rising costs of nearly everything, there may be times when you are struggling to make rent payments towards rent in a particular month.

The good news is that the government does have programs in place!

Rent Banks in major cities across Ontario that grants and/or loans for low-income individuals and families financial assistance with rent (e.g. rent, electricity, heating, deposits, moving costs). The various Rent Banks will differ in their eligibility, coverage, and dispersement amounts.

Getting an N4 - Notice to Terminate Tenancy Due to Non-Payment of Rent is never a pleasant experience. First, take a deep breath.

Know that when you are given the N4 Notice, you (as the Tenant) have 14 days to make the payment before the Landlord files with the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). This is when a little panic may set in. When a filing occurs, you will need to spend time, energy, and/or money to counter the potential eviction.

(Seriously, ain't nobody have time for that!)

To prevent that from happening, there are government resources available to you. We tried compiling a list of Rent Banks available across Ontario to get you started.

Get Financial Help From Rent Banks or Housing Stability Benefits

Example: The Toronto Rent Bank

The Toronto Rent Bank grants rental arrears or rental deposits for the minimum of either $4,000 or the equivalent of 3 months' rent. There are different eligibility requirements such as your family size and your household income.

The processing time is about 5 business days and in urgent cases, it can be expedited so make sure you don’t wait to apply. The Toronto Rent Bank operates in 11 languages from Mandarin to Spanish.

FYI: There are some financial assistance components that do not apply such as utility arrears. For this, you can apply to the Emergency Energy Fund (EEF) at 416-397-7368 or the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) at 416-924-2543.

Rent Banks in Municipalities and Contact Info

We encourage you to visit your municipal websites for details of the Rent Bank and application process. Here are a few municipalities and their websites.

Guelph / Wellington - Emergency Housing and Energy Supports

519.837.2670 x 3712

County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, ON, N1H 3T9

See Details

Hamilton - Housing Stability & Rent Ready Benefits


OW Recipients 905-546-4800 | Low-income and ODSP recipients 905-526-8100

OW Residents - 350 King St East, Suite 110 Hamilton, ON

See Details

London - Housing Stability Bank


519-964-3663 ext 300

Mon to Thu 8am-6pm EST and Tue, Wed, Fri 8am-4pm EST

London Centre of Hope, 281 Wellington St, London, ON, N6B 2L4

See Details

Niagara - Rent Supplement Program

Tenants in the Rent Supplement program pay a rent that is based on their income. Housing Services supplements the tenant’s rent by paying the landlord the difference between the rent paid by the tenant and the full market rent for the unit. Each year, Housing Services reviews the rents charged by the landlords to ensure that they fairly reflect the market rents in the area.

905-682-9201 ext. 3932

See Details

Ottawa - Essential Health and Social Supports

3-1-1 (Select 4 for Community and Social Services) | 613-580-2400 | Toll Free 1-866-261-9799

Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 4 pm EST

110 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, ON, K1P 1J1

See Details

Peel - Emergency Housing Support


905-791-7800 or Toll Free 1-888-919-7800

Monday to Friday from 8 am to 5 pm EST. After-hours service for urgent issues is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Online chat is available Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Brampton (Regional headquarters) at 10 Peel Centre Drive, Brampton, ON, L6T 4B9 | Mississauga at 7120 Hurontario Street, Mississauga, ON, L5S 1Z8

See Details

Toronto - Rent Bank


416-397-RENT (7368)

Monday to Friday between 9 am and 4:30 pm EST

City Hall - 100 Queen St. W., Toronto, ON, M5H 2N2

See Details

Windsor - Rent and Utilities Assistance


519-255-5200 ext. 5294


See Details

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