Special Priority

Under provincial housing legislation (the Housing Services Act) there is a special program called the Special Priority Program (SPP) for households with current or recent experience of domestic abuse or human trafficking that gives them priority access to Rent-Geared-to-Income Housing. We will help to determine eligibility for this program and help individuals experiencing abuse apply for housing benefits and register for rental housing geared to their income. Please be aware that it can take some time to secure housing. If you are looking for a referral to a Violence Against Women shelter or other supports related to your situation, please call:

  • Esprit Place Family Resource Centre at 1-800-461-1707 or www.espritplace.ca
  • Assaulted Women’s Helpline at 416-863-0511; 1-866-963-7868
  • Human Trafficking Helpline at 1-833-999-9211

How can I apply?

To apply, you must complete and submit a SPP Application. If you are currently on the RGI waiting list include your application number on the SPP application. If you are not currently on the RGI waiting list you will need to complete an RGI Application and record the number on your SPP application.There is no cost to submit or process either application.

Who can apply?

In order to qualify under this category, you must:

  • be on the housing waitlist and eligible for Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) housing.
  • meet the criteria for either domestic violence and sponsorship abuse or human trafficking.

Domestic Violence and Sponsorship Abuse Criteria

  • You live or lived with an individual who is abusing you or another person in your household or is sponsoring the abused member as an immigrant.

Human Trafficking Criteria

  • A member of the household is being or has been trafficked.


The Housing Services Act defines abuse, abuser and human trafficking for the purposes of the Special Priority Program.


  • Physical or sexual violence;

  • Controlling behaviour; or

  • Intentional destruction of or intentional injury to property, or words, actions or gestures that threaten the member or lead the member to fear for his or her safety; or

  • Forced labour, sex work or marriage of the member done by any individual.

Abuser (Except in Cases of Human Trafficking)

The abuser is a member of your household and can be

  • the individual’s spouse, partner, parent, child or other family member.

  • a person who is sponsoring the individual as an immigrant.

  • a person on whom the individual is emotionally, physically or financially dependent.


  • One or more incidents of recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of the member by improper means for an illegal purpose, including sexual exploitation or forced labour.

  • Improper means includes force, abduction, fraud, coercion, deception and repeated provision of a controlled substance.

Types of Human Trafficking Include

  • Sex trafficking

  • Labour trafficking

  • Domestic servitude

  • Forced marriage involving exploitation

  • Other forced illegal activities.

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