Unfortunately, the home sweet home comes at a cost that may become unmanageable for seniors. Seniors who wish to stay in their home (or downsize to a smaller home) become unable because of income constraints.

It is important that REALTORS® are aware of the resources the Municipal, Provincial and Federal Governments offer for seniors who are still living in their own home. As a result, they have created multiple programs like tax assistant grants and hydro assistance.

Senior Homeowners’ Property Tax Grant

The Provincial Government is offering a program for low-income seniors who can be eligible for up to $500 back on their property taxes.

To be eligible, each of these has to be accurate:

  • Paid Ontario property tax during the year
  • Met either of the following income requirements:
    • You were single, divorced or widowed and earned less than $50,000
    • You were married or living common-law, and you and your spouse/common-law partner acquired a combined income of less than $60,000
  • Owned and occupied your principal residence
  • Were 64 years of age or older
  • Where a resident of Ontario.

The max grant amount of $500/year is adjusted based on net income:

  • Single, separated, divorced or widowed:
    • Less than $35,000 = $500
    • $35,000 less than, but not greater than $50,000 = a grant reduction of 33.3% of your income over $35,000
  • Married or common-law:
    • Less than $45,000 = $500
    • Greater than $45,000 = 33.3% reduction of your income over $45,000
    • Greater than $60,000 = Do not qualify
    • Only one person per couple can receive this grant
  • Click here for an online calculator to see how much money you could receive

A tax return needs to be filed to apply for this grant:

  1. General income tax and benefit return
  2. Report the amount of property tax that is paid on line 6112 on the ON-BEN application
  3. The grant is paid 4-8 weeks after the Canada Revenue Agency notifies you of the notice of assessment and a direct deposit will follow


Tax Assistance Program

The City of Hamilton offers a tax assistance program based on age or income; full tax deferral or compassionate appeals.

The Tax Deferral Program includes:

  • Interest that is compounded annually (2019 rate = 5%)
  • Annual application is required
  • Application fee of $200 with a $100 annual renewal fee after initial application
  • The application needs to be filed before September of the application year
  • Please click here for the application form

To be eligible for a full tax deferral:

  • You and your spouse are 65 years and older of age by January 2019 and receive assistance payments under the Ontario Disability Support Program, under disability pay under the Guaranteed Income Supplement, or an amount paid under the CPP disability benefit
  • Your total combined income is less than $36,100
  • You occupy the residential property as your principal residence
  • You own the primary home for at least one year preceding the application date

Compassionate Appeal

  • Tax reduction due to extreme sickness or poverty
    • Extreme poverty: A Financial Statement needs to be provided with the application
    • Severe disease: Attending Physician’s Statement and a Financial Statement need to be provided with the application
  • The City of Hamilton accepts the sympathetic requests and submits them to the Assessment Review Board, or ARB on behalf of the party
  • Needs to be filed before February of the application year
  • ARB mails a Notice of Hearing once a year, which usually happens in April
  • Please click here for the application form for extreme poverty
  • Please click here for the application form for extreme sickness and click here for a Financial Statement


Older Adults Property Tax Deferral Program

If you are an older adult and a homeowner living in the Halton Region on a fixed income, you may qualify for the Older Adult Property Tax Deferral Program. The goal of the program is to help older residents on fixed incomes to manage the rising cost of living and remain in their homes.

To qualify for the program, you must be able to meet the following criteria:

  • You are at least 65 years old.
  • You own a home in Halton Region.
  • At least one registered owner must have lived in the home (as their principal residence) for the last four years.
  • Your combined pre-tax gross annual income (the applicant plus the property’s registered owners) must be less than $50,900.
  • You are not participating in any other property tax deferral or rebate programs.
  • You have paid your previous years’ property taxes in full.

The City of Burlington will review your eligibility for the program every year. Once deferral begins, you must submit a completed renewal by September 30 each year to stay in the program.

  • If you do not apply for renewal by September 30, or if you are no longer eligible for the program, The City of Burlington will continue to defer your property taxes for that year.
  • After this first year, you will have a one-year grace period to reapply and show your eligibility. The City of Burlington will continue to defer your taxes, interest-free, during this time.
  • If you reapply during the grace period and are eligible for the program, your property taxes will continue to be deferred.

Unless you end participation, such as by selling your home, the program provides two full years to renew your application and show your eligibility before you must repay the remaining deferred taxes.

Enrolment in the program includes the following fees:

  • Initial application fee of $50
  • One time administration fee of $200
  • Annual renewal application fee of $0

Please click here for the eligibility and calculator tool

Please click here for the application form

Please click here for the renewal application form


Tax Rebate

Haldimand County offers seniors or low income disabled property owners a deferral of local taxes if specific criteria is met.

Click here to access the application for deferral of local taxes for low income seniors or low income disabled property owners and the specific criteria that needs to be met for collection of the deferral


Home Assistance Program

Hydro One offers free energy-efficient upgrades to the home.

To be eligible for the program you have to be a Hydro One customer and:

  1. Own or rent your home or live in an eligible non-profit housing property
  2. Your gross household income for the last year is not more than these income levels
1 Person $32,843
2 People $40,886

Or you have received one of the following in the past 12 months:

  • Allowance for the Survivor
  • Guaranteed Income Supplement
  • Allowance for Seniors
  • Ontario Works
  • Ontario Disability Support Program

Or you have received a Low-Income Energy Assistance Program Grant or were part of the Ontario Electricity Support Program in the past 12 months

Click here for more information on the Home Assistance Program


Ontario Electricity Support Program

The Ontario Electricity Support Program is offered by the Ontario Government that provides a monthly on-bill credit for lower-income customers to reduce their electricity bill.

Eligibility is based on the number of people living in the home and the total annual household income after taxes

Click here for a new application form and to see if you are eligible for the program.

Click here to renew an application for the program.


Budget Billing

A program offered through Hydro One where you pay the same amount each month to more efficiently manage your household budget.

How Budget Billing works:

  • Monthly budget billing is set based on your billing history to even out your energy cost over a year
  • Pay the same amount for six months, and on the six and nine months, your monthly payment amount is reassessed to make sure you are not paying too little or too much
  • Have to lock in for 12 months

These programs offered will help to reduce the stress associated with the cost of staying in the home. It is possible for seniors to afford to continue to live at home. As a result, RAHB has created infographics with the information above that can be given to a senior client or that senior’s family so that they are aware of all the affordability options available to seniors.

Please click the buttons below to access infographics that can be given to clients or their family on the information above:

Home Assistance

Hydro Reducing Resources

Senior Homeowner’s Property Tax Grant

Tax Assistance Program Compassionate Appeal

Tax Assistance Program Full Tax Deferral