Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to join the Toronto HomeShare Program?
Any older adult aged 55 and over with a spare room in their home is eligible for the program. Older couples or families living with -- and caring for -- an older adult are also welcome to apply. Please note that if you live in co-operative housing you will need to ensure that having a student sharing your living space does not violate your tenancy agreement.
All students studying at a post-secondary institution in the City of Toronto on a full-time or part-time basis are welcome to apply. There is no preference given for a particular field of study, or the subject or level of the degree/certificate program. Students from specialized post-secondary institutions are also welcome to apply.
Are international students eligible?
International students are eligible for the Toronto HomeShare Program as long as they have lived in Canada for at least one (1) year. The reason for this one year requirement is so that a Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS) police check can only be conducted for a student who has lived in Canada for at least one year.
Unfortunately, if you have not lived in Canada for at least one year, you are not eligible for the Program at this time. We encourage you to revisit the program once you have resided in Canada for one year and can provide a valid VSS.
How much will the rent be?
Rent for the HomeShare Program is well below Toronto’s market rate, and falls within our guideline of $400 to $600 monthly as determined by the home provider.
In exchange for receiving a reduced rental cost, students are expected to provide up to 7 hours of help around the home and/or companionship for the home provider, which can take the shape of help cleaning, preparing and sharing meals, or assistance with shovelling snow. The nature of the assistance provided will be agreed upon by all parties before a match is finalized.
How do I join the program?
The online application for students is available here, and the online application for home providers is available here. This is the first step to joining the program, and one of our program staff will be in touch to follow up with every completed application within 1-2 business days.
Do home providers have to provide meals?
No. HomeShare students are expected to shop and cook for themselves, although students and home providers may cook and share meals together if it is mutually agreeable.
What do home providers need to provide?
All students must have their own private bedroom, access to a bathroom and kitchen, and space in the kitchen to cook and store food. Many students appreciate access to laundry, internet, and a furnished room but this is not necessary to participate in the program.
What are the terms of the HomeShare agreement?
A HomeShare agreement is a document that both the student and home provider sign before living together that determines the agreed-upon terms and details of their HomeShare arrangement.
The terms of each HomeShare Agreement are customized to match each individual HomeShare match. However, the Agreement will always address rent, what contributions are expected from the student to the household, and what spaces in the home are shared including any special considerations.
Is the HomeShare Agreement a lease?
No. Your HomeShare Agreement is not a lease under the Residential Tenancies Act because our home providers are renting out space in their primary residence. The HomeShare Agreement is a commitment that lays out clear expectations for a good working relationship between a home provider and the student living with them.
Can home providers have other family members living with them?
Yes. Eligibility requirements for home providers require at least one older adult aged 55 or above to be living in the home as their primary residence. Older couples and families with multiple generations living in the home are welcome to apply. Please note that every person living in the home must be willing to apply for a Vulnerable Sector Screening through Toronto Police Services, as are all post-secondary students placed in a HomeShare arrangement.
Please contact our program team at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unsure about how participation in the HomeShare program could work for you.
Can a home provider take multiple HomeShare students at the same time?
No. Our current policy is limited to placing one student with each home provider within the boundaries of the program.
Can a home provider have a tenant already living in the home?
Yes, provided your tenant is also willing to apply for a Vulnerable Sector Screening and share appropriate spaces in the home (i.e. Shared kitchen, bathroom, and living space).
Can a student bring their own furniture?
If a student has furniture they would like to bring (i.e. A favourite chair, desk) and the home provider is open to it then the student may bring whatever is agreed upon. If a home provider has a furnished room and would not like any more furniture added to the house, they will be matched with a student who does not have furniture.
Can a student bring their pet(s)?
Anyone with pets is welcome to apply to the Toronto HomeShare Program, and we will take this into consideration when making a match. Please note that we do not ask for any obligation from home providers to accommodate pets for a student if they are not interested.
Can the agreed-upon assistance to the household be changed after moving in?
Yes, but it must be mutually agreeable. The HomeShare Agreement clearly lays out the contributions requested by the home provider, and agreed on with the student at the start of the HomeShare. However, every living situation is flexible and some needs change over time (ie. Seasonal work, changes in physical health) so the HomeShare Agreement and contributions can also change if both parties agree. Our team of social workers is also always available for mediation and support should any confusion or conflict arise.
Regardless, the time commitment from the student of up to seven hours per week contributing to the household should not be exceeded.