What Are Your Housing Needs?

Where do you want to live?
What type of housing do you want?
How many bedrooms do you need?
Do you require an accessible, barrier free or modified home?
How much rent can you afford to pay?

Where do you want to live?

You may want to live in a particular area of Halton that it is close to your work, school, health care providers, or because you currently live in that area.

What type of housing do you want?

  • Most rental units are not shared with other tenants and have a private entrance.
  • Rents for apartments tend to be less than the cost of renting a townhouse, semi-detached units or houses because they do not have private outdoor space.

Some common types of units include:

    Apartment: A unit in a building with a few or many units.

    Duplex, Triplex: A building with two units (duplex); a building with three units (triplex).

    Townhouse: A self-contained unit attached to other units in a row or a square.

    Semi-detached: Two self-contained units attached side-by-side.

    House: A dwelling that usually includes some outside property and is separated from other units.

How many bedrooms do you need?

  • Usually the more bedrooms a unit has the higher the rent will be. Rental units can have 1, 2, 3, 4 or more bedrooms. Some rental units do not have any bedrooms at all. A bachelor apartment, for example, is one room plus a bathroom and a kitchen. A room consists of just one room, sometimes furnished, where the kitchen and bathroom are shared with other tenants.
  • How you assign bedrooms to the members of your family is up to you in the private rental market. There are no laws that require that you have separate bedrooms for children of opposite gender.
  • However, there may be rules regarding the maximum number of people allowed to live in any type of housing. There are also rules for the assignment of bedrooms in rent-geared-to-income housing. These rules can be explained to you when you pick up a subsidized housing application.

Do you require an accessible, barrier free or modified home?

If you require accessible housing to meet your individual needs, you may want to consider the following details before you make a decision about your housing:

  • Does the unit meet the accessibility requirements for you and your family?
  • Consider whether you require a supportive housing unit. You can apply for supportive housing at designated assisted housing locations in Halton through the Halton Access to Community Housing (HATCH) centralized waiting list system.

How much rent can you afford to pay?

Housing can often be expensive. It is important to know how much rent you can afford to pay, including heat, hydro water and other potential expenses. Tenants often pay for their own electricity (hydro). Before looking for housing you should carefully calculate your expenses and income to determine what is reasonable for you to pay in rent.

When you look for housing, find out if utilities (heat, hydro and water) are included in the rent. If utilities are not included in the rent, try to find out how much they are likely to cost. A unit that appears to have a reasonable rent can quickly become unaffordable if the cost of utilities is high. Keep in mind that electric heat is often much more expensive than other types of heat and this is usually found in older properties. Also, heating will be a lot more expensive if the unit is poorly insulated and windows and doors are in poor condition.

Use the housing search checklist pdf (52.4KB) to determine if the unit you are viewing is right for you.

to determine if the unit you are viewing is right for you.

If you find you are having trouble finding housing you can afford, consider:

  • Looking for units in other, less expensive areas.
  • Shared accommodation. (For example, smaller units or apartments rather than townhouses or houses.)
  • Examine your expenses and income again. Can you decrease your other expenses? Is it possible to get a better paying job if you had better employment skills? Have you looked into the employment programs in Halton? Dial 311 and ask to be referred to Employment Halton.
  • If you need help to maintain your housing while you are waiting for subsidized housing, dial 311 and ask to be referred to Halton Housing Help services.