Glossary

There are many different terms used in the housing world, and not always agreement on what these mean. This glossary is meant to clarify the language that the Starts With Home campaign is using in our platform.

A measure generated by CMHC (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation) through its Rental Market Survey. AMR captures the average rent charged by private landlords for available units and is calculated for individual neighbourhoods or urban zones. AMR does not include in its measure secondary rentals in the condo market.  Source.

Housing is affordable if it costs 30% or less of a household’s before-tax income. Affordable housing can be provided by the private, public and non-profit sectors and can be in the form of rental, ownership and co-operative ownership, as well as temporary and permanent housing. Source.

*This is the definition and standard used by the Starts With Home campaign. Many groups or organizations consider affordable housing to be based on Average Market Rent or another metric. We know that when housing prices far outstrip the income people make, the “average market rent” does not reflect what a household can afford in reality. In contrast, if all households truly paid only 30% of their income on housing - whatever that income is - it could significantly reduce poverty, as housing is often one of the largest items in a household budget.

Below Market Rent (BMR) A subsidy in which rents are not geared to income, but rather are fixed at a rate below the average market rent. In Ottawa, affordable housing created through the Action Ottawa Program is defined as BMR, with average rents in a development fixed at a rate of 70% AMR.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) is Canada’s national housing agency. CMHC is a Crown corporation governed by a Board and responsible to Parliament through a Minister.

A type of non-profit housing with rent that is typically lower than privately owned apartments or is subsidized by the government. Co-ops have memberships that share voting rights and building management responsibilities with all residents.

When a landlord evicts a tenant because they intend to demolish the building.  Landlords need to issue an N13 notice, but this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes a landlord might pressure a tenant to leave. For example, raising the price of building amenities, making frequent and unannounced visits, or delaying response to maintenance requests.

Not endorsing or supporting any political leader or party.

Refers to all types of housing that are not in the private housing market. This includes cooperative housing, social housing, subsidized housing, and supportive housing.

Consists of organizations whose main objective is to help the public in some way, and do not earn profit for its owners. All donations, grants, and profits earned are used to carry out the organization's objectives and keep it running. This includes registered charities, non-profit organizations, foundations, etc. Source

Policy that would ensure that new residential developments include affordable units for people with low to moderate income.

Includes status and non-status First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in Canada.

A position that would be empowered with a mandate to support the City in fulfilling its commitment to realize the right to housing, and operate independently from the City. Source.

Consists of organizations and individuals that seek to make a profit back for its owners. For example, small businesses, corporations, professional or trade associations, etc. Source

Consists of government services or publicly owned goods such as education, health care, public transport, law enforcement, etc. Source

When a landlord evicts a tenant to repair or renovate the rental unit. The unit is often more expensive when it is back on the rental market after the repairs or renovations are complete. Landlords need to issue an N13 notice, but this doesn’t always happen. Sometimes a landlord might pressure a tenant to leave. For example, raising the price of building amenities, making frequent and unannounced visits, or delaying response to maintenance requests. Source.

A subsidy that is determined according to a tenant’s income. A tenant will typically pay an amount equal to 30% of gross household income. In the case of an individual receiving payments from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program, rental payments are calculated according to specified shelter allowances.  Source.

Government-assisted housing (also referred to as community housing) with lower-cost rental units for households with low-to-moderate incomes. Includes housing owned and operated by provincial or municipal housing agencies, community-based nonprofit organizations, Indigenous organizations, or cooperatives. 

Tenants are prioritized based on social housing access systems (waiting list) and get assistance to pay for their rent to provide affordable housing. The amount that tenants pay is determined by income and is called rent-geared-to-income housing (RGI). Tenants pay about 30% of their monthly income on rent, which is the benchmark for affordability, and the rest is subsidized by the government or non-profit organization.  Source.

A non-profit organization that maintains the central waiting list for people applying for rent-geared-to-income (RGI) housing in Ottawa. The Registry keeps the list according to rules set out by the Province of Ontario in the Housing Services Act, 2011.  Source.

Provides assistance and support services for individuals requiring some support to live as independently as possible in the community.  Source.

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