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If you need resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, visit TheDo.ca. TheDo is an initiative of the United Way Bruce Grey.

Rent-geared-to-income Housing

Grey County manages 997 rent-geared-to-income housing units.  Eligible tenants pay about 30% of their gross household income for rent. About 80% of the units are home to seniors, couples or singles and 20% are families.

These units are located at 35 sites across the following municipalities:

  • Chatsworth
  • Grey Highlands (Markdale and Flesherton)
  • Hanover
  • Meaford
  • Owen Sound
  • Southgate (Dundalk and Holstein)
  • Town of the Blue Mountains (Thornbury)
  • West Grey (Durham)

Non-Profit Housing

Grey County oversees non-profit housing providers with more than 450 units in the area.  These providers manage their properties and Grey County subsidizes costs. Providers include municipalities, churches and other service and community groups.

An additional 66 units in Grey County are managed by two non-profit providers. These programs are federally funded and operate differently.  Their renters are a mix of tenants paying market rent and others with rent-geared-to-income.

All applications are processed by Grey County using the “Coordinated Access System.” Applicants only need to apply once to be placed on waitlists for Grey County Housing and/or Non-Profit Housing.

Top 10 Questions

Tenant Quick Reference Sheet

I am in an abusive situation. Can I be offered housing sooner?

You may be eligible for Special Priority Status if:

  • You are living in an abusive situation; or
  • You have left your abuser within the past three months; and
  • You have documentation to support the above.

Download, complete and submit our Request for Special Priority form

What is Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) Assistance?

Rent-geared-to-income assistance is commonly called subsidized housing.  Eligible tenants pay about 30% of their gross household income for rent.

This program is not a form of emergency housing.  Applicants can wait several years before receiving assistance. 

If you are homeless, contact the YMCA housing Support Program at 519-371-9230.

Who is eligible for RGI Assistance?

You may be eligible for rent-geared-to-income assistance if:

  • You are able to live independently.
  • At least one person in your household is 16-years-old or older.
  • Everyone in your household has legal status in Canada, has applied for status, is a refugee.
  • No one in your household is being ordered to leave Canada.
  • No one in your household owes money to any social housing provider.
  • No one in your household has been convicted of an offence related to rent-geared-to-income assistance, such as misrepresenting income.

I owe money to a previous landlord. Will this affect my application?

If you owe money to a social housing provider you will not qualify.

Income Limits

Income limits depend on the size of unit your household is applying for. Contact Grey County for up-to-date limits.

I don’t have an income. Can I still apply?

You may need to look for income through one or more of the following:

What are the asset limits?

You need to report all of the assets held by each person in your household. Assets are valuables like cash or items that can be sold or converted to cash.

You don’t need to claim: furniture, appliances, decorative items, clothing, jewelry or other personal items, or a vehicle.

If your assets are worth more than $50,000 you will not qualify for affordable housing through Grey County.

I own my home. Can I still apply?

Your home equity is considered an asset. If your assets and home equity is less than $50,000 you may still qualify.

If you own a property that can be used all year, you need to sell it for a fair market price within 180 days of moving into a subsidized housing unit.

Choosing a Place to Live

When you apply for affordable housing you can select as many locations on the list as you wish. You will be added to the waiting list for each location you choose.

Can I pick the size of unit I want?

Yes, but your choice must fit within a certain range for your household size. You can’t choose a unit that has less than one bedroom for every two people, or more than one bedroom for each person or married/spousal partner.

What if I need an accessible unit?

You can request a wheel-chair accessible unit on your application.

What if I change my mind about where I want to live?

You can select new or different locations while you are on the waiting list. You will only be offered housing for these locations.

Choose your locations carefully.

Only choose locations suitable to your household. Only choose locations suitable for your household which are close to supports and needed services.  If you are offered a unit of your choice and you turn down that offer of housing, you will be placed on the bottom of the waiting list. 

What happens after I send in my application?

Grey County will review your application to determine if you qualify for assistance. If you are eligible, your name will be added to the waiting lists for each location you picked and you will receive a confirmation letter.

If you are not eligible for assistance you will receive a letter stating why.

How long will I be on the waiting list?

There is no way to predict how long you will be on the waiting list.  It can take several years.

It’s hard to say who is in the greatest need of housing. Households that have been on the waiting list the longest are offered housing first.  Grey County believes this is a fair way to meet the needs of households seeking subsidized housing.

What do I need to do while I am on the waiting list?

Every six months you will receive a letter asking you to update your information.  You need to respond to this letter even if you have no changes.

It’s important you report the following changes as soon as they occur:

  • You change addresses and phone numbers
  • You change who will be living with you
  • Your household income changes
  • Your household assets change
  • You change your mind about where you want to live

Keeping your contact information up-to-date is crucial. We may not be able to contact you and offer you housing if it isn’t correct. If we can’t reach you, the available unit will be offered to another household and your name will be removed from the waiting list.

Make sure Grey County has your current daytime phone number or a number where you can receive a message.

How do I report changes?

You can report changes by telephone, in person or by mail at the following office:

County of Grey Administration Building
595 9th Avenue East
Owen Sound, ON N4K 3E3
Phone: 519-376-5744
Fax: 519-376-0445
Email: housing@grey.ca

Grey Bruce Community Emergency Shelter Program

Grey-Bruce is a large area serving many communities. In order to provide the most accessible services to the entire service area, Grey County and Bruce County provide funding for emergency shelter by way of short-term motel accommodations through the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative in partnership with YMCA Community Initiatives.

Emergency Short Term Shelter - YMCA Community Initiatives

If you or someone you know is unsheltered please contact 211 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) for the most accurate information. This program is administered by YMCA Community Initiatives and a person may receive additional shelter as they are developing a longer-term housing plan.

Across Grey and Bruce Counties, the police services are also involved; providing access to shelter for individuals requiring immediate shelter support through this YMCA program.

If you are at risk of homelessness, please contact a YMCA Housing Stability Worker at:

519-371-9230 ext. 5
Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

A Place to Go - Safe 'N Sound

Safe 'N Sound will be providing evening drop-in services at their location at 310 8th St East, Owen Sound. Monday to Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 9 p.m, a warm drop in space is available, as well as the opportunity to connect with YMCA Emergency Shelter Program and referrals to other services as needed.


Mental Health and Addictions Outreach Supports - Canadian Mental Health Association Grey Bruce

If you or someone you know needs mental health and addictions outreach supports, services can be accessed through the CMHA Grey Bruce by calling 519-371-2390, Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, please call 1-877-470-5200 immediately.

The Hope for Wellness Indigenous Hotline is available in English, French, Cree, Ojibway and lnuktitut. For traditional healing during a crisis please contact 1-855-242-3310.