Special Priority Program (SPP)
The City of Toronto’s Shelter Support and Housing Administration division manages the
Centralized Waiting List for subsidized housing. Special Priority Program (SPP) status
is reserved for individuals eligible for Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) assistance who are
victims of abuse or trafficking as defined below:
• “Abuse” means one or more incidents of: physical or sexual violence,
controlling behaviour; OR intentional destruction of or intentional injury to
property; OR words, actions or gestures that threaten a household member to
fear for his or her safety; and that are done by specific individuals. OR trafficking
of the member done by any individual.
• “Trafficking” means, with respect to a member of a household, one or more
incidents of recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of the
member by improper means, including force, abduction, fraud, coercion,
deception and repeated provision of a controlled substance, for an illegal
purpose, including sexual exploitation or forced labour.
The Housing Services Act, 2011, Ontario Regulation 367/11, Section 52 - 58 (“Special
Priority Household Category”), gives priority ranking to social housing applicants and/or
tenants whose personal safety, or whose family’s safety is at risk because of abuse by
an individual with whom they currently or recently lived with, or who is sponsoring the
member as an immigrant. This Special Priority is to enable the household to separate
permanently from the abuser. Social housing applicants are also eligible for Special
Priority if a member of the household is being or has been trafficked.
If you are eligible for Special Priority status, you will be ahead of non-priority applicants
on the Centralized Waiting List, but you will still be behind Special Priority applicants
who applied before you. We cannot tell you how long it will take to get housing. The
amount of time it takes to house a Special Priority applicant depends on where you
hope to live and the type of unit you need.
Special Priority Program (SPP) Application
In order to qualify for Special Priority status, you must:
• be eligible for Rent-Geared-to-Income assistance.
• meet the criteria for either domestic violence, sponsorship abuse or human
Domestic Violence and Sponsorship Abuse Criteria
• You are living with someone who is abusing you or your children or you stopped
living with them in the last three months. In limited circumstances, we may
consider your application after three (3) months.
• You are a sponsored immigrant and your sponsor is abusing you or your
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