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The selection of applicants from the waiting list is chronological - when a housing provider has a vacancy, they contact the next applicant on their waiting list.

The exception to the first-come, first-served waiting list system is for Special Priority applicants who are housed on a priority basis.

Who qualifies for Special Priority?

The City of Toronto rules give priority to the following categories:

  • The first priority is for victims of domestic abuse (Special Priority Household Category). All housing providers are required by the Housing Services Act (HSA) to give priority to victims of abuse.

  • The second priority is for the terminally ill - reserved for applicants who have less than two years to live. Recognizing this priority is optional for housing providers.

  • The third priority is for over-housed tenants in rent-geared-to-income housing. Tenants who are housed in a unit that is larger than the unit they qualify for under the provincial occupancy standards are required to move to unit size they qualify for.

In addition, the City of Toronto's local access rules ensure that individuals who are disadvantaged by a chronological system under the following categories will fill one in seven rent-geared-to-income vacancies:

  • homeless
  • separated families
  • newcomers who are homeless
  • youth who are 16 or 17 years old at the time of applying