How to Find Affordable Housing

The City of Windsor and various community agencies offer supports for individuals and families in Windsor and Essex County who require assistance in obtaining and retaining affordable housing. An overview of some of these services is provided below.

Housing Information Services (HIS)

One of the first calls you should make is to Housing Information Services. This community agency offers a variety of services to assist individuals and families in their search for affordable housing, including one-on-one supports and connections to other service agencies and landlords. HIS maintains an up-to-date database of affordable rental units in Windsor and Essex County to provide options to households in their search. Appointments are recommended, however walk-ins are welcome. All services are offered free of charge.

Housing Information Services 
3450 Ypres Avenue, Suite 200, Windsor

Social Housing

There are approximately 7,300 social housing units and 34 social housing providers in Windsor and Essex County. The rental costs in social housing units are subsidized by government funding, making this an affordable option for people with low to moderate incomes. Individuals and households who want to apply for social housing must contact the Central Housing Registry (CHR) to be assessed for eligibility, prioritized based on established criteria and, if deemed eligible, placed on the social housing waitlist. It is important to note that the wait for social housing can take many months to several years.  Residents are encouraged to obtain affordable housing in the private rental market while waiting for a social housing placement.

Central Housing Registry 
Windsor Location
2470 Dougall Avenue, Unit 6, Windsor

Essex County Location
15 C Talbot Street North, Essex

More information about Social Housing 

Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit

The Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB) is a joint federal-provincial housing allowance program providing an income-tested, portable housing benefit (PHB) payment to low-income households. The COHB is designed to help increase affordability of rental housing for eligible households that are on the social housing wait list in Windsor and Essex County. Approved applicants under this program must consent to be removed from the social housing wait list.

To be considered for a COHB, an individual or a household must have an eligible application with the Central Housing Registry Windsor Essex County (CHR) and indicated interest in receiving a COHB on their application.

The Windsor-Essex COHB allocation for Year 3 (2022-23) is expected to assist eligible households with their rent as early as April 1, 2022.

Windsor-Essex’s COHB allocation for Year 2 (2021-22) has been fully allocated.

To qualify for COHB, each individual or household must be on or eligible to be on the social housing wait list. To verify whether you have an eligible application or to start the application process, please contact the Central Housing Registry – Windsor Essex County (CHR):

  • 2470 Dougall Avenue Unit 6, Windsor, Ontario
    Phone: 519-254-6994

Once you have confirmed an eligible application from the CHR, the Housing Benefit team at Windsor Essex Community Housing Corporation (CHC) can assist you in completing a COHB Application. All COHB Applications must be completed with the assistance of designated CHC staff. Any applications not completed in this manner will not be accepted or assessed for eligibility by the Ministry of Finance.

Interested applicants with an eligible CHR Application can contact CHC:

Windsor Essex Housing Benefit (WEHB)

The WEHB is a municipally funded housing benefit that is paid directly to you to help you pay your rent anywhere in Windsor Essex County. This housing benefit is being offered in priority order (i.e. Priority I – special priority policy survivors of domestic violence or human trafficking, Priority II – homeless or at risk of homelessness, chronological order) by date of application on the Central Housing Registry’s waitlist. The WEHB is a housing benefit that is portable across Windsor and Essex County only. Eligible proponents will be contacted regarding their eligibility and how this benefit can assist with their housing affordability. The City of Windsor estimates the WEHB has the potential to assist approximately 50-60 households from Windsor Essex’s social housing wait list in 2020-21.

WEHB Program Guidelines

2020 WEHB Maximum Rents Information Sheet

Rent Assistance

If you require financial assistance to pay for first or last month’s rent in order to secure an affordable rental unit, or you are facing eviction due to rental or utilities arrears, you can apply to Housing Stability Plan (HSP) program. This program is intended to help people with low income obtain and retain housing.

More information about HSP and the application process 

Housing with Supports Homes

Housing with Support Homes provide permanent housing, food services and supervised care for low income individuals who require some assistance with activities of daily living. There are 22 Housing with Support Homes in Windsor and Essex County, with approximately 500 beds that are subsidized through government funding. To learn more about this program, please visit one of the webpages listed below:

Housing with Support Homes, City of Windsor

Housing with Support Homes, County of Essex

Emergency Shelters

There are three emergency shelters that provide temporary accommodations for residents of Windsor and Essex County who are experiencing homelessness. People in need of emergency shelter must contact one of the shelters listed below who will assess for eligibility, provide information about their intake process, and offer supports to people while in shelter, including help finding permanent housing. Transportation may be provided for Essex County residents who are eligible for emergency shelter services.

Welcome Centre Shelter for Women and Families
263 Bridge Avenue, Windsor

Salvation Army (for single men)
355 Church Street, Windsor

Downtown Mission (for single men, single women and families)
875 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor

Other Supports & Services

For information about other housing and homelessness services, please call 211 which is available 24/7 and in over 150 languages.

City of Windsor, Housing Services Department

For general inquiries, call 311.​​​