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Internal Transfer Policy

Purpose

The Transfer Policy applies to tenants who require a move from one Sault Ste. Marie Housing Corporation (SSMHC) unit to another because of circumstances outlined under the Internal Waitlist categories.

Households who wish to move into SSMHC from other social housing or from SSMHC to another social housing provider are external applicants, and must apply through the centralized access system.


Principles

This policy is designed to:

  • give priority to tenants who qualify as special priority, who are over housed, or urgently need a different unit; and
  • balance the needs of SSMHC’s tenants with the needs of people hoping to move into SSMHC for the first time.

Responsibilities

The General Manager of Sault Ste. Marie Housing Corporation has the overall responsibility for establishing and maintaining the Internal Transfer Policy.


Policy & Procedures


Eligibility

Any household in good standing may apply for a transfer if it meets one of the Internal Transfer Categories.

A household is in good standing if:

  • it has not been given an eviction notice;
  • it does not owe arrears or any other money to the SSMHC;
  • it has paid its rent on time for the last six months; and
  • it has no history of damage to the unit, disturbing neighbours or harassing staff.

The eligibility criteria will be waived if the household qualifies for special priority status or is over housed. Consideration may be given to waiving the eligibility criteria for “priority moves” (see internal wait list).


Internal Transfer Applications

To transfer, tenants must complete an application form and submit it to the offices of the SSMHC.
Click here for an application.

A tenant who is also applying for special priority status must do so in writing and must consent to the disclosure of any information or documentation required to verify the validity of the request. The tenant applying for special priority status should also provide instruction as how to be contacted. All designations of Special Priority status will be processed and approved by the Sault Ste. Marie Social Housing Application Centre.

Each Internal Transfer application will be reviewed on the third week of each month by the Internal Transfer Committee.

Tenants may ask for a review of the Internal Transfer Committee’s decision (see Review of Decisions).


Internal Transfer Committee

The Internal Transfer committee will be comprised of the following staff: Property Managers, Tenant Support Staff and the Tenant Support Coordinator. The committee will be chaired by the Tenant Support Coordinator who will be responsible to inform the internal transfer applicant in writing of the committees’ decision within 5 business days.


Internal Waiting List Categories

  1. Special Priority tenants
  2. Tenants applying for special priority status must complete the Special Priority Internal Application Section from the Sault Ste. Marie Social Housing Application Centre Application package. The completed application is then forwarded to the Sault Ste. Marie Social Housing Application Centre for approval.

    A special priority tenant will be placed at the top of the internal transfer list. If there is more than one special priority tenant on the list, they will be ranked according to their chronological date.
  3. Over housed RGI tenants
  4. An “over housed” RGI household is a household living in a unit which is larger than the largest unit for which they qualify under occupancy standards set by the Service Manager. Over housed tenants who are paying rent-geared-to-income will be placed at the top of the internal wait list after special priority applicants, in the order of the date they applied to move. A household is over housed when it has more bedrooms than allowed by the Service Manager Occupancy standards.

    Tenants must report any changes in household size to the Property Manager within 30 days of the change. If SSMHC does not have an appropriately sized unit for the household, as defined by the SSMHC lease’s section on occupancy standards, the household will be placed on the centralized wait list (the list for all social housing in the area).

    Tenants may ask for a review of the Property Manager’s decision (see Review of Decisions).
  5. Priority moves
  6. After over housed tenants, households with an urgent need to move are given priority over other transfer applicants. Priority applicants will be offered units in order of their application date for a transfer.

    These urgent needs include:

    1. Tenants needing to escape abuse but who have not lived with or been sponsored by the abuser and so do not qualify for special priority status. The Property Manager/Tenant Support Co-ordinator will establish the level of documentation required to substantiate the abuse.

    2. A household member has a medical condition or permanent disability, and their current unit:
      • is inaccessible, or
      • substantially aggravates the condition, or
      • prevents or substantially increases the cost of treatment.
        (documentation needed)

    3. A household that has antisocial problems with neighbours, that:
      • has had ongoing contact with the Property Manager or Tenant Services Worker or Tenant Support Coordinator; and
      • all other means of intervention by SSMHC staff have failed; and
      • Property Manager has recommended to the Internal Transfer Committee a recommendation for transfer with details.

    4. The unit currently occupied has been damaged by flood or fire and is unfit for occupancy.
  7. Under housed households
  8. Households who have more than two household members per bedroom or who have opposite-sex household members other than spouses sharing bedrooms will be placed on the wait list after over housed and priority households, in the order they applied for a larger unit.
  9. Senior eligibility
  10. Tenants who are currently housed within a SSMHC unit and turn 60 and wish to transfer to a designated senior’s building.

Maintaining Eligibility

Except in the case of special priority, when a tenant reaches the top of the Internal Transfer list the Property Manager will confirm the household is still eligible for a transfer. Before offering a unit, they will make sure:

  • there are no arrears;
  • no late payments within the last six months;
  • no complaints about disturbing neighbours or harassing staff; and
  • no damage to the tenant’s unit was found in a unit inspection.

Offering a Unit

The SSMHC will offer a vacant unit to households on the internal transfer list in the order they appear on the wait list.

The Property Manager may exercise discretion in the decision to offer a vacant unit to anyone on the internal transfer list other than special priority, over housed and priority transfer requests if the resources are not available to prepare the vacating units in a given month without incurring vacancy loss.

Tenants will have one (1) business day to decide whether to accept the unit. A tenant (other than a special priority or an over housed tenant) who refuses three units will be removed from the internal wait list.

An over housed tenant ,who after one year of being notified in writing of being over housed, refuses three offers while on the internal transfer list will lose their eligibility for RGI assistance. When an over housed household refuses an offer the SSMHC will notify the Sault Ste. Marie Housing Application Centre of the refusal.

Units may be offered “as is.” SSMHC will ensure the unit meets all maintenance and safety standards, and that all electrical and plumbing fixtures are in good working order. SSMHC may choose not to paint the unit, do minor patching, or make decorative changes to the unit.

Review of decisions

Tenants can request a review of the following decisions through the Sault Ste. Marie Housing Corporation in regards to an internal transfer:

  • refusal of a transfer request
  • refusal to give priority status
  • declaration of the household to be over housed (as required by provincial regulations),

To appeal the decision, the tenant must write to the Property Manager/Tenant Support Co-ordinator within 10 business days of receiving the written decision. This letter should explain why the tenant disagrees with the decision, and give any information that might affect the decision.

Reviews will be handled by the Operations Manager and completed within 10 business days. All decisions of the Operations Manager are final in accordance with the Housing Services Act, 2011.

All requests for a review of a decision in regards to Special Priority status will be handled by the Sault Ste. Marie Social Housing Application Centre.


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