Military Housing Options in Ontario

If you’re eligible for military housing, Canada provides housing solutions to members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and their loved ones. Here’s what you need to know about military housing in the province of Ontario.  

The Importance of Discussing Military Housing Options in Ontario, Canada

Military housing refers to homes and other types of accommodations offered to CAF members and their families. CFA includes the Canadian Army, Royal Canadian Air Force, and Royal Canadian Navy. Canada is committed to providing adequate shelter to military personnel, who face unique challenges and demands due to their line of work. 

CAF members are often posted to different locations depending on the demands of their role. Their spouses, children, and elderly parents often relocate with them. They may also be deployed or reassigned from regular duty to participate in humanitarian efforts or aid military missions as the need arises. They may be deployed to another area in Canada, or overseas, for several weeks to 12 months at any given time. In any case, CAF members and their families must be ready for deployment on short notice. 

These deployments can be difficult and stressful for many families hence the need for military housing in Canada. The military housing program ensures that CAF members and their loved ones have access to affordable but well-maintained housing whether they choose to reside on-base or off.

The Department of National Defence (DND) has an estimated 12,000 military housing units available for rent on military bases and wings across Canada. The Canadian Forces Housing Agency (CFHA) is responsible for the management, maintenance, and allocation of military housing across 27 locations on behalf of DND. 

An Overview of Housing Options Available for Military Personnel

It’s common for new CAF recruits to live on-base for their initial training, which lasts about 10 weeks for non-commissioned members (NCM) and 12 weeks for officers. After completing their training, Regular Force Members typically live on or near the base. They may also rent or own their home. 

The following individuals are eligible for military housing:

  • Regular Force Members posted to a new location or already living in the area
  • Reserve Force Members working full-time on a six-month contract
  • Foreign military or exchange members
  • Royal Canadian Mounted Police employees
  • Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC) or Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) employees working at least 27.5 hours per week
  • Government of Canada civilian indeterminate employees supporting DND
  • Indeterminate employees of other Government of Canada departments
  • DND contractors with a contract of more than six months

Amenities and services for military housing vary with each location. However, most military apartment complexes have access to parks, fitness centers, recreational facilities, schools, and childcare centers. Some bases also offer maintenance and repairs to make sure that the housing units remain in good condition. Some homes have been modified to accommodate occupants with disabilities. CFHA reviews special housing needs on a case-by-case basis.

There are several factors that determine the allocation of military housing. These include CAF member’s rank, the size of their household, and the availability of residential units. CFHA has a system in place to help them determine housing priority based on these factors.

Available Housing Options

On-Base Housing

Ontario military bases, such as CFB Kingston, provide on-base housing options to eligible individuals. These residential units are located in Fort Henry Heights, which lies on the north side of the base, and have been designed to meet the needs of military families. Housing options include apartments, duplexes, and single-family homes. On-base military housing is located within proximity to the city and its many shops and restaurants.

Off-Base Housing

For CAF members who choose to live off-base, the Canadian Forces Housing Differential (CFHD) policy will help them cope with housing costs in various locations through a differential. When looking for suitable off-base housing, CAF members take several factors into consideration, such as the needs of their household and the property’s proximity to their place of duty.

Renting vs. Buying

  • Renting – Military housing is subsidized and the rental costs are generally lower than the civilian rental market. Rental costs are typically deducted from CAF members’ salary. Basic utilities like water and electricity may be included in the rent for units that are not individually metered. Housing units with individual meters for utilities require CAF members to pay consumption charges to the supplier. 
  • Buying – Owning a home offers a change in scenery and lets CAF members live among civilians. It offers more privacy and respite from the demands of military work.   CFA 

members who want to become homeowners may be eligible for a DND mortgage, which is available through institutional lenders with funding placement approval from the Canadian military.

Military Housing Support Services

Each military base offers services to members and families who live in military housing. These services typically include:

  • Relocation benefits and services
  • Financial services (i.e. financial planning, income tax preparation, insurance)
  • Child care facilities and emergency child care
  • Employment assistance and career counseling 
  • Second language training for military spouses
  • Operational trauma and stress support
  • Family separation and reunion counseling 
  • Low-cost access to fitness and sports facilities
  • Leisure activities and youth programs

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