Home, Community and Residential Care Services

Assisted Living Services in Supportive Housing Overview

Assisted Living Services support people with special needs who require services at a greater frequency or intensity than home care but without the medical monitoring or supervision that would be provided in a long-term care home (LTCH). These services vary according to need, but consist essentially of attendant services, personal care, essential homemaking and an emergency response system. The program aims to promote wellness and improve the health of clients by providing a level of services that enables them, despite their illnesses or conditions, to live in the community with a high degree of independence, and to be integrated into community life as much as possible. It enables the individual to remain independent, and prevents or delays institutionalization.

Call your local CCAC for help with assessment, determination of eligibility, and wait list management.  No medical referral is necessary. There is no cost to the client for receiving assisted living services.

The Local Health Integration Networks (LHINS) currently fund a variety of assisted living/supportive housing programs including Assisted Living Services for High Risk Seniors, and Assisted Living Services in Supportive Housing for persons with Physical Disabilities, for persons with Acquired Brain Injury, for persons living with HIV/AIDS, and for persons with Mental Health and Addiction concerns.

To help you find the program you need, the following are some brief program descriptions. For more information about assisted living/supportive housing programs available in your local community, please contact your LHIN.

Assisted Living Services for High-Risk Seniors

Assisted Living Services for High-Risk Seniors is a program designed to assist frail or cognitively-impaired seniors who do not need 24 hour nursing care and can reside at home with support; however, their care requirements cannot be met solely on a scheduled visitation basis. This program provides a combination of personal support and homemaking services, security checks or reassurance services, and care coordination. Services are available around the clock, on a scheduled and as-needed basis.

Services are provided to clusters of clients in their own homes within a geographic service area designated by the Local Health Integration Network as a “hub”, or to clusters of clients in apartment buildings. Clustering of clients provides an efficient and effective means to provide long-term care that helps to keep people independent and prevent/delay institutionalization. Staff providing services operate from a location in the centre of the “hub” which allows them to get to the client quickly in an emergency.

Assisted Living Services in Supportive Housing

Assisted Living Services in Supportive Housing.(Housing provider is not the Service provider)
The LHINs provide Assisted Living Services in Supportive Housing for persons who have a physical disability, an Acquired Brain Injury, or are living with HIV/AIDS, and who do not require 24 hour nursing care, but whose care requirements cannot be met solely on a scheduled visitation basis. Clients live in a specially-designed building, or in a cluster of adapted apartments within an ordinary apartment building, including shared houses or apartments, and self-contained apartments. The buildings are owned and operated by not-for-profit corporations such as municipal governments, housing cooperatives, or non-profit groups including faith groups, seniors' organizations, service clubs, cultural groups, and service providers. In most cases, the rent charged is based on ability to pay, or the market level rent is subsidized.

Staff are in the building 24 hours a day and are available to help residents on a scheduled basis, or as-needed.  This program provides a combination of personal support and homemaking services, security checks or reassurance services, and care coordination. Accommodation is usually operated by a person or corporation that is separate from the service provider. The resident’s arrangements with the service provider are recorded in a plan of care; the resident’s arrangements with the landlord are governed by a lease.

Mental Health Supportive Housing

Mental Health Supportive Housing is a combination of subsidized permanent accommodation and support services to enable individuals with serious mental illness to live independently in the community.The supports provided can include social supports (i.e. personal support services such as homemaking and personal care; life skills; peer support; and employment support), and more clinical mental health supports (i.e. case management; outreach nursing, and assertive community treatment). The service provider and the landlord are usually the same organization. Connex Ontario  includes a directory of mental health supportive housing providers across Ontario.

Supportive Housing for People with Problematic Substance Use

A combination of subsidized permanent accommodation and proactive but voluntary support services that enable individuals with problematic substance use to live independently in the community.  The program is targeted to people with problematic substance use who are: homeless or at risk of homelessness (.e.g. temporarily living with others because the person has nowhere else to go); high users of addiction system, have complex addiction problems; recent users of an addiction treatment program, and assessed as having a high probability of being successful in supportive housing.  Support services vary in nature and in scope as they respond to the needs of the individual and are aimed at supporting the individual to maintain tenancy and linking them to substance abuse treatment services as requested.

Related housing options

Seniors Affordable Housing

Seniors Affordable Housing is specially designed accommodation for seniors, but without on-site services. In affordable housing, a person may live in fully equipped bachelor, one bedroom, or two bedroom apartments. Accommodations, costs, and the availability of government subsidies vary with each building. Your rental arrangements in such situations are usually spelled out in a lease between you and the landlord or building owner.

Accommodation costs for affordable housing are based on market rent for similar apartments. If you are eligible, the government may subsidize your rent so that you only pay up to 30% of your household's monthly income. To be eligible for a rent subsidy, you must be a Canadian citizen, landed immigrant or refugee claimant. If you own your own home and apply for a rent subsidy, you are obliged to sell your home within six months of moving into affordable housing. Local governments may set additional eligibility requirements for rent subsidies. There is usually a waiting list for subsidized units.

If you are able to manage your own care, but prefer to live with other seniors, you may benefit from this option. Living in Seniors’ Affordable Housing buildings gives you the advantages of being able to socialize with other seniors. In addition, the buildings are designed to be more accessible for people with physical disabilities. In most settings, rent-geared-to-income subsidies are available for individuals who qualify. Seniors living in these units can also choose to use home and community services available in their area.

Note: There is a difference between Affordable Housing and Supportive Housing. Affordable Housing features rent-geared-to-income, but no government funded health services. Affordable Housing is the responsibility of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and is managed locally by municipalities.   If you need to live in an apartment where rent is geared to income, but you do not need any other health services, or you can arrange your own services, you may want to enquire about Affordable Housing.

Retirement Homes

Retirement Homes offer a range of options, from large apartments to single rooms, and complete self-sufficiency to a high level of service. Most retirement homes offer meals, housekeeping services, and supervised recreational activities. Sometimes you can purchase additional services, such as medication supervision. All accommodations and services are paid for by the tenant.

For more information on Retirement Homes, please contact the Ontario Seniors’ Secretariat.

Life Lease Housing

Market value Life Lease projects look like condominium projects, with similar suite sizes, features and monthly fees, however, the owner on title is a not-for-profit or charitable organization. An individual purchases from the non-profit organization the exclusive right to occupy the suite they select and to use the common facilities. When the owner of a suite, or their estate, wishes to sell or transfer their lease, they receive the "market value" of their suite, as you would for a condominium or detached home. Many Life Lease projects offer their occupants on-site support services for a fee. For more information, contact Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at 1-866-532-3161
In Toronto, 416-314-5518
TTY 1-800-387-5559
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm