Peel Region is making changes to the way it helps people access community housing. The 10-year Peel Housing and Homelessness Plan is shifting from a first-come-first-served approach, to a needs-based approach.

A recent report by Peel Human Services outlines how these changes will affect residents who apply for rent-geared-income assistance as their applications are integrated into the waiting list.

Residents who have made chronological applications, close to 14,000 applicants, and have an estimated five- to 12-year wait for family spaces, will now potentially endure even longer wait times to access housing.

In order to adhere to Ontario’s Housing Services Act, the region must now prioritize housing subsidy applications first to victims of family violence and human trafficking, medical and in-situ applications, then chronological.

In November, the annual report on housing found that demand for housing and homelessness services is greater than the availability of affordable housing. However, according to the report, this shift should help the region more effectively make use of current resources and maximize on housing outcomes for residents.

The shift will be initiated by March 2022, involving the region implementing a Coordinated Access system, in effort to prevent homelessness in communities.