Renter's Toolkit: 
Finding and Keeping a Home


1. Preparing for the Housing Search

Finding the perfect home can be tough. But the more you plan ahead, the more likely you are to find something that works for you. The tip sheets and work sheets below provide information about housing options and help you clarify what you need and want. Going through this information will also help you ensure you have all of the income and documents you need to begin searching for housing.

 Click on the play button below to listen to tips and tools for this phase.                                                          Renter's Toolkit Home Page

Planning your search 

Preparing for Your Housing Search: Quick Tips and Tools
A summary of what to think about ahead of your search, including what you can afford, ID, and reference and credit checks.

Understanding the Housing Options
Types of housing options in the community, including private market, community housing and supportive housing.

Thinking About What You Need and Can Afford for Housing
Considerations for balancing what you need and want in housing along with housing costs.

Is Shared Accommodation Right for You?
Explore the pros and cons of sharing a unit with someone and what to ask a potential roommate before you decide.

Income and Benefits

How to Maximize Your Income and Financial Support
A list of the available government income supports, links to applications, and how to get help working on your budget.

How to Apply for Tax Benefits and Credits
A list of tax benefits and credits for you and your family, and how to ensure you continue getting the credits you qualify for.

Identification, Credit and Reference Checks

Securing Identification: Backgrounder
Details on how to get the ID you need to secure income and rent, and what to do if your ID has been lost or stolen.

How to Secure Housing in Urgent Circumstances without Identification (ID)
If you need housing right away, this tip sheet will help you get a place while you wait for the ID you need.

How to get Credit and Reference Checks and Why You Need Them
Details on why credit checks are important, how to get one, and how to manage poor credit and a history of evictions.


Planning your search

My Housing Plan
This worksheet will help you walk through the steps for preparing, searching and securing housing.

How to Narrow Your Housing Search
Pinpointing your must-haves and what you can live with help you balance your housing needs with your wants.

Is Your Potential Roommate/Housemate Right for You?
Write down what you want and don't want in a roommate and the answers to the questions you discuss together.


Personal Monthly Budget Template
This budget will do the math for you, just plug in the numbers to help see what you can afford.


 Video: Tips for planning your housing search