“Habitat Services strives to improve, preserve, and increase deeply affordable housing for tenants marginalized by poverty and their mental health status by contracting with landlords and providing recovery based support”.
- Housing is a Human Right: Habitat Services believes that housing is a basic human right and that good housing that meets people’s different needs is essential to the health of individuals and communities. We strive to continually enhance the accessibility of our services and the accessibility of the supportive housing system in Toronto. Individuals living in Habitat-funded homes have tenancy rights and responsibilities under the protection of the law.
- Quality Improvement: Habitat Services is committed to the monitoring, maintenance and improvement of standards of care and services in homes under contract. We are also committed to improving our support to tenants and the overall quality of housing under contract.
- Recovery: Habitat Services recognizes that tenant communities develop in each home made up of individuals with rich and varied life experiences. We believe in each individual’s capacity for growth and development and emphasize self‐determination, hope, meaning, and individuality. Working from a recovery perspective, we recognize and promote the value of tenants’ shared experience and peer support.
- Partnerships & Collaboration: Habitat Services works in partnership with people with lived experience of the mental health and addiction systems and homelessness as well as with other agencies to improve services available to tenants. We are committed to forming positive collaborative working relationships with other groups and organizations that provide services to people with mental health challenges, and to exploring partnerships and integration opportunities.
- Advocacy: Habitat Services advocates for people with lived experience of the mental health and addiction systems and homelessness. We advocate for increased supports for both tenants and the home owners/operators that provide the housing. Habitat advocates for more deeply affordable housing.
- Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion: Habitat Services embraces equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are committed to working within an anti-racist and anti-oppression framework. Habitat Services is bound by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Ontario Human Rights Code, the City of Toronto Non-Discrimination Policy, and Habitat Services’ own Equity Policy and Procedures. We promote and encourage tenant inclusion and belonging, and work against the stigmatization of people with lived experience of housing instability and mental health complexity. Habitat recognizes the importance of culturally-specific services that reflect the diverse needs of tenants. Habitat Services respects gender and sexual diversity, and strives to support the needs and provide opportunities for members of the 2SLGBTQ community.
In the 1980s, advocates, mental health workers and housing providers voiced serious concerns about consumer/survivors of the mental health system being housed in boarding homes with very poor living conditions. Habitat Services was established in 1987 to help address these concerns and improve the quality of life for tenants.
The City of Toronto, the Ministries of Community and Social Services, Health, Housing, the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and the Supportive Housing Coalition discussed strategies. They developed the concept of using a contract to standardize services and improve housing standards in boarding homes. The details were worked out in consultation with consumer/survivors, advocates, representatives of the provincial and municipal governments, mental health workers and boarding home owners/operators. The result was the Habitat Services contract model.
Habitat Services is funded by Ontario Health. The Ministry of Health and the City of Toronto jointly fund the Habitat Services Subsidy Program.
Accessible Customer Service Policy Statement
Habitat Services (“Habitat”) will endeavour to provide its goods and services in a way that respects the independence and dignity of all persons and encourages integration and equality of opportunity. Habitat is committed to preventing, identifying, and removing barriers that impede the ability of persons with disabilities to access our goods and services.
Habitat Services is committed to protecting the privacy of personal information of tenants, employees, contractors and other individuals served by or providing service to Habitat Services. We value the trust of those we deal with and recognize that maintaining this trust requires that we be transparent and accountable in how we treat personal information.
To read the Habitat Services Privacy Notice, please click here.