Housing Workers are individuals employed – usually by community agencies/non-profits but sometimes working directly for a specific level of government – who are able to assist individuals in finding housing and supporting them with the related services that are part of that process.
According to the East York East Toronto Family Resources Organization (EYET)’s Resources Exist for Networking and Training (RENT) program a Housing Support Worker can assist an individual to:
- Access Basic Needs including food, clothing, furniture and transportation assistance.
- Assist with Income Supports by assisting clients in accessing assistance programs including OW and ODSP, utility funds, trusteeship programs, and specialty funds such as the Rent Bank.
- Secure Housing and Sustain Tenancies by assisting clients in searching for, finding and securing affordable housing.
- Provide 3rd Party Mediation Promote problem solving by facilitating a discussion that focuses on clear communication and achievable solutions between clients and landlords.
- Offer Application Assistance for rental applications as well as other required documentation such as applying for personal identification documents, healthcare requests, training, jobs, etc.
- Make Links and Referrals by assisting clients with connections to all other housing stability resources, including healthcare, family support, immigration, training and employment.
- Provide Information to Tenants and Landlords including resources, education and legislation that contribute to the common goal of sustaining successful tenancies for the long term.
EYET/RENT also states that while Housing Workers support tenants to access trusteeship programs and income assistance support, a Housing Worker is not responsible for paying rent on a client’s behalf. Similarly, while a Housing Worker can assist a landlord in mediating problems with a tenant they are not responsible for evicting problematic tenants nor can they guarantee that a tenant will not cause any problems during their tenancy.