Voices of ABLE2 – Social Housing

Written by Julie Cashman

(as published in the July 2023 ABLE2 Monthly Moments Newsletter)


My topic for today is social housing from my point of view so people can see the good points and all it has to offer for people like me on ODSP

I am 42 and I waited patiently on the social housing registry for 11 years to get a 1-bedroom apartment.

Every Christmas was my due date to call into the Social Registry and update my file once a year. My mom and I picked Christmas/December because it was an easy time to remember for both of us. I would also ask the Social Registry to send me a list so I could choose more options of housing in Ottawa each year.

After 11 years of waiting and choosing, they finally called me in 2021. I still remember the lady in the office of Social Registry when I first applied who gave me a hint, a huge one, don’t limit yourself to one area of the city, choose more options from the list. 

And so, I did, and that’s what got me in faster to social housing. 

So, I moved into social housing, and got the keys, and signed the lease, and made lots of friends. I now volunteer in our programs for Veggie Friday that happens every Friday, and Breakfast Tuesday and I benefit from these two programs, and also the foot lady from southeast Ottawa comes to take care of my feet every six weeks.

My rent is a lot cheaper, under $200 for a 1 bedroom providing my income does not change for ODSP.

We have to submit our notice of assessment along with our ODSP papers, and a pink slip we get from Ottawa housing to tell Ottawa housing we are doing our income taxes each year. It lets them know we are still at the same income level to keep our houses. If we do not comply with this or fail to send that information we lose our housing and our apartment goes back up to market rent and they kick us out.

Since moving here, I have made more friends. I love volunteering. I am thriving and saving more money. And that is the benefits of social housing. I do not have to worry anymore about paying market rent, or worrying about rising food cost, or having to put clothes on my back, because I can afford all theses things.

Thank you very much for listening to me today and I hope it gives you all a great knowledge of social housing and provides you with better feedback and gives you some more idea that social housing is better life.

Merci and thank you.

Julie Cashman

Chair, Consumer Advisory Committee