Community Start-Up And Maintenance (Furniture and Moving)
This is $799 if you are single or $1,500 if you have a family. You can only get it once every 2 yeas unless there are special circumstances. Community Start-Up (CSB) is money that is available to help with moving costs, paying arrears of rent or utility bills, or furniture.
You can get this benefit if:
- You are moving
- You are staying where you are and you need furniture to be able to stay there (eg. your roommate moves out and takes the kitchen supplies, or your partner moves and takes the bed).
- You have been discharged from an institution where your basic needs were provided for.
- You've been evicted or are about to be.
- Water, hydro or heat have been cut off or will be cut off and you need the money to put them back on.
- You are the victim of fire or flood.
- You are fleeing a domestic abuse situation.
- You are moving because your current place is in really bad repair or is overcrowded.
- You are moving to another town to be closer to work, for school, to live with family or another good reason.
- You need to replace items due to an infestation.
- You need to replace broken down necessary appliances.
- You have to make a large up-front purchase of wood or oil for the winter (if there is not extra money from your shelter allowance).
- There may be other circumstances that would warrant CSB that aren't listed here.
What you can get:
- Furniture (beds, shelves, lamps, chairs, couch, table, desk, etc.)
- Kitchen items (pots, pans, cooking utensils, glasses, plates, cutlery, etc.)
- Moving van or transportation costs;
- First month's rent deposit (where the need has been clearly identified)
- Last month's rent deposit (note: they only issue this part of the CSB to the landlord)
- Telephone, fuel and hydro deposits;
- Storage costs for up to three months;
- Disability specific items – things that you may need because of your disability that someone else wouldn’t (electric can openers, air purifiers, stepping stools, door openers, etc.). You can only get this if what you need isn't covered anywhere else, like under the assistive devices benefit or the Homeowner Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program
- Person with a disability requires assistance to move (e.g. packing boxes, relocating special disability equipment);
- Clothing (e.g. in the event of a fire or flood);
- Other items that are necessary to get or maintain housing.
You can get the CSB more than once ever 2 years if:
- There is a fire, flood or other catastrophic event;
- You have to move as a result of domestic violence;
- You have to move as a result of a disability (moving to supportive housing, moving to a more accessible place, or somewhere that will better accommodate you);
- There are circumstances where if you do not get it, it will be harmful to the health and welfare of you, your spouse or your children. (For example, your building is condemned and you have to move but you never paid last month’s rent at your house so you have no money for last month’s rent to get a new place or you had to throw out your bed due to bedbugs and you need a new one. Some people will get this money and some won’t but if you need something and can’t get the money for it, in Toronto, call OCAP otherwise call your local legal clinic.
Your worker may try to tell you that start-up is only available if you are moving, but it is clearly not the case!
How to get the money:
Tell your worker about the change in your life that you require it for. Give them a list of what you need with an estimate of the cost for each item. Your worker may not accept everything on your list, so it makes sense to list more than the maximum amount. Sometimes they require actual quotes, but usually an estimate will do.
If you are moving between municipalities (ie. from one city to another), you should apply to the welfare office in the place you are leaving. However, in an emergency, the new community should issue it to you.
If you know you are moving in advance, let your worker know and that you will need this benefit. The more notice you give, the easier it will be for you to get the money when you need it.