Housing Benefit Aims to Increase Access to Housing in Windsor Essex County

Windsor (Ontario) – In an effort to increase affordability of rental housing, the Canada Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB) is a joint $1.46-billion federal-provincial housing allowance program providing an income-tested, portable housing benefit (PHB) payment to low-income households.

The City of Windsor is pleased to announce this new housing benefit option for qualified people and households. A monthly subsidy (COHB) will assist low-income households in their ability to pay housing costs. Unlike other forms of housing assistance, the COHB is tied to the person or household, rather than the physical housing unit, allowing the benefit to move with the household.  Positive outcomes of the COHB program are attaining housing stability through better connections to people and supports, improving household financial well-being and providing a better quality of life.

Today Debbie Cercone, Executive Director, Housing and Children’s Services explained, “Eligible recipients will have more flexibility to choose where they live to be closer to family, social support networks, schools and employment opportunities.” The Canada Ontario Housing Benefit’s (COHB) purpose is to increase the affordability of rental housing  for individuals and households in Windsor and Essex County.

The City of Windsor has a number of programs and services for individuals and families in Windsor and Essex County who require assistance in obtaining and retaining affordable housing.  Jolayne Susko, Coordinator, Housing Administration & Policy added , “The addition of this portable housing benefit has the ability to assist a person or a family in their pursuit to attain affordable housing for which there is significant need in Windsor Essex.” Based on the Canadian Rental Housing Index, people in Windsor Essex spend 24% of their income on rent and utilities, 44% of the households are spending over 30% of their income on rent and utilities, while 8% of renter households live in overcrowded conditions.

The COHB is designed to help increase affordability of rental housing for eligible households that are on social housing waiting lists. Approved applicants under this program must consent to be removed from social housing wait lists. The COHB aligns with goal one of the Windsor Essex 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Master Plan to “sustain and expand social and affordable housing supply” in Windsor Essex, specifically assisting with the target to increase the number of households assisted in RGI, affordable rental housing units and/or rent assisted units by 30% by 2028.

For further information and to apply for the COHB, interested parties can contact the Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation (CHC):

Email: housingbenefit@wechc.com Phone: (519) 254-1681 ext. 4005


“Positive outcomes from the COHB program are attaining housing stability through better connections to people and supports, improving household financial well-being, and providing a better quality of life.”

Debbie Cercone, Executive Director, Housing & Children’s Services, City of Windsor

Quick Facts

  • In November 2017, the federal government released the National Housing Strategy (NHS), which is a 10 year, $40 billion plan aimed to increase access to housing.
  • Modelled after the NHS program originally targeting survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking, the COHB will expand target groups to include persons experiencing or at risk of homelessness, Indigenous persons, seniors and people with disabilities.
  • With a budget of $13.2 billion, National Housing Co-investment Fund (NHCF) gives priority to projects that help those in greatest need, including women and children fleeing family violence, seniors, Indigenous peoples, people with disabilities, those dealing with mental health and addictions, Veterans and young adults.

Associated Links

Latest News