Overhoused and underhoused

Overhoused and underhoused

Overhoused transfers

If you are a rent-geared-to-income household and you are living in a unit that is too large for your household as outlined in the City of Toronto's Occupancy Standards, you will be added to Toronto Community Housing's internal transfer waiting list with an overhoused priority. Staff will work with you to find a unit that is the right size for your household.

If your household is overhoused for more than a year, your household will also be added to the centralized waiting list at Housing Connections. You will then be asked to choose locations from a minimum of five housing providers other than Toronto Community Housing.

If you have been overhoused for 12 months or longer and have refused three offers from either the internal transfer waiting list or the centralized waiting list at Housing Connections, or a combination of offers from both lists (e.g. two offers from Toronto Community Housing and one offer from Housing Connections), you may lose your rent-geared-to-income (RGI) subsidy. Also, if you refuse to choose five housing providers other than Toronto Community Housing on the centralized waiting list at Housing Connections, or if you remove your transfer application from the centralized waiting list at Housing Connections, you may lose your RGI subsidy.  A household that loses their subsidy must pay the market rent and may remain in their unit.


Underhoused transfers

If you are a rent-geared-to-income household and living in a unit that is too small for your household based on the City of Toronto's Occupancy Standards, you may apply for an under-housed priority transfer.  Operating Unit or Property Management office staff will determine whether your household qualifies for the underhoused priority. If you are approved, you will be added to  Toronto Community Housing's internal transfer waiting list.   In order for your household to qualify for an Underhoused priority, you must be living in a unit that is too small by two or more bedrooms according to the City of Toronto's Occupancy Standards' maximum allowable persons per room (e.g. two persons per bedroom).

Note: Toronto Community Housing will be changing the offer process for households on the Overhoused and Underhoused waiting list. As of August 1, 2019, households on the Overhoused and Underhoused waiting list will be required to select a minimum of four Operating Units and households will be added to the waiting list for every development in those four Operating Units with the bedroom size the households is eligible for. This will allow Toronto Community Housing to move Overhoused and Underhoused households more quickly to a right-sized unit.


The City of Toronto's Occupancy Standards

The City of Toronto has set rules about how many bedrooms each rent-geared-to-income household is eligible for. These rules are called Occupancy Standards.

  •  Adult household members who are spouses must share a bedroom. Two persons who live together are considered "spouses" if:
    • the social and familial aspects of the relationship amount to cohabitation, and
    • one individual provides financial support to the other, or
    • the individuals have a mutual agreement or arrangement regarding their financial affairs.
  • For adult household members other than spouses, a minimum of one and a maximum of two persons per bedroom.
  • For children under the age of 18, no less than one and no more than two persons per bedroom where the unit contains three bedrooms or less.
  • For children under the age of 18, no less than one and no more than three persons per bedroom where the unit contains more than three bedrooms, if the shared bedroom provides the minimum space required under the City's Municipal Code Property Standards.
  • A single parent may share a bedroom with a child if the applicant wants to share.
  • Bachelor units are normally given to single persons. However, a two person family is eligible for a bachelor unit, if the applicant requests it.
    • A two person family consists of either two spouses or a parent and child.


For more information, visit the City of Toronto's website to see the Occupancy Standards rules (PDF) that are part of the Rent- Geared-to-Income (RGI) Administration Manual. 

If you have questions about Occupancy Standards, talk to your Tenant Services Coordinator at your local Operating Unit office or your Property Administrator at your local Property Management office. You can also email help@torontohousing.ca or call the Client Care Centre at 416-981-5500.