Rent assistance: Ontario Housing First Regional Network Community of Interest

Webinar recording

On May 4, 2017, EENet and the Ontario Housing First Regional Network Community of Interest (OHFRN‐CoI) presented a webinar on rent assistance.

Rent assistance is a cornerstone of the Housing First approach to ending chronic homelessness. Yet many Ontario communities do not have rent assistance or enough rent assistance to meet the needs of the homeless population. Furthermore, when available, rent assistance is often implemented in many different ways.

Communities vary in terms of the dollar amounts of rent assistance per person and whether the rent assistance is portable or tied to a specific housing unit.

View the webinar recording here and access the presentation slides here.

In this webinar, the results of a recent study of rent assistance are presented, along with a panel from three communities about their approaches to rent assistance. You will learn about:

  • The OHFRN‐CoI;
  • A recent evaluation of the impacts of rent assistance on housing stability and quality of life of persons experiencing persistent homelessness the Waterloo region of Ontario;
  • Experiences from the ground, specifically:
  • How to obtain rent assistance for homeless persons; and
  • How to implement rent assistance.

The presenters:

  • Courtney Pankratz, Co‐principal Investigator for rent assistance research, Wilfrid Laurier University, Community Psychology program
  • Lisa Medd, Program Manager, CMHA Ottawa Marie Morrison, Manager Housing Services, Region of Waterloo
  • Paul Lavigne, Program Manager, Homelessness Programs and Residential Services Unit, City of Ottawa


Geoff Nelson, Professor of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University; and OHFRN‐COI Co‐lead

The Ontario Housing First Regional Network Community of Interest (OHFRN‐COI) is intended to assist communities across Ontario to develop, evaluate, and improve Housing First (HF) programs based on the Pathways model tested, adapted, and shown to be effecve in the At Home / Chez Soi Demonstraon Project. For more information, visit the website.