Housing and Shelter

Northumberland County is committed to protecting the health and well-being of residents and staff. Precautionary measures have been put in place across County programs and services to support community action against the spread of COVID-19. For program and service updates, visit our COVID-19 Updates page.

Northumberland County works closely with local agencies to deliver housing stability and homelessness prevention initiatives in the community.

Subsidized Housing

If you have low to moderate income, you can apply for one of Northumberland County's Rent-Geared-to-Income (RGI) units. Learn more about subsidized housing and find out how to apply.

Find out more about the Northumberland County Housing Corporation, the largest community housing provider in Northumberland.

Shelter Benefit

If you are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, we may be able to help you get or keep housing through the shelter benefit.

If you are eligible, the shelter benefit can help you with:

  • Last month's rent
  • Rent arrears
  • Moving costs
  • Utility deposits, arrears and/or reconnection fees

 How to apply for the shelter benefit

  • If you are on Ontario Works, please speak to your caseworker
  • If you are on ODSP or have a fixed/low income, call 905-372-6846 or 1-800-354-7050 ext. 2468

Emergency Shelter Services

Transition House shelter

Emergency shelter services for individuals experiencing homelessness in Northumberland are provided by Transition House shelter in the Town of Cobourg. Individuals experiencing or at risk of homelessness can access Transition House services through self-referral or through local agencies.

On April 28, 2021, a single positive case of COVID-19 was confirmed in a staff member at Transition House shelter. Based on Ministry guidelines for congregate settings, this single positive case has prompted Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit to declare an outbreak at the shelter. During the outbreak period, all new admissions to Transition House are paused while current clients are supported to isolate in place. To ensure ongoing system-wide shelter capacity, overflow accommodations have been arranged with local motels. Community members experiencing homelessness can continue to access emergency shelter services through the coordinated entry system managed by Transition House by calling 905-376-9562.

Confirmed case of COVID-19 at Transition House shelter - Frequently Asked Questions 

Why has Transition House shelter been declared to be in ‘outbreak’?

Following confirmation on April 28, 2021 that a staff member of Transition House shelter had tested positive for COVID-19, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPRDHU) declared an outbreak at the facility. Ministry guidelines dictate that a congregate setting is considered to be in outbreak once a single case of COVID-19 has been confirmed in a resident or staff member.

The Health Unit has identified clients who are considered high-risk contacts of the confirmed staff case and these clients are being directed to isolate.

All new admissions to Transition House shelter have been paused while the current ten clients are supported at the shelter, including those directed to self-isolate.

What infection control measures have been in place at Transition House throughout the pandemic, and what outbreak measures have since been implemented?

Transition House worked in close collaboration with the HKPRDHU at the beginning of the pandemic to establish a comprehensive infection prevention and control program at the shelter. This includes:

  • Reduced capacity to ensure physical distancing in all sleeping quarters and common areas;
  • Screening of all new clients prior to entry to the shelter;
  • Twice-daily screening of all clients and staff for COVID-19 symptoms;
  • Enhanced environmental cleaning protocols;
  • Provision of masks to all clients and staff, and implementation of a universal mask policy, mandatory at all times, except when eating and, for clients, sleeping.

In addition, on-site vaccination was coordinated for consenting staff and residents thanks to collaboration with local health care partners, further increasing safety among this vulnerable population.

Since the declaration of outbreak, testing of clients and staff has been completed at the facility. All results received to date have been negative.

HKPRDHU has also delivered on-site vaccination for any remaining consenting clients and staff who were not previously vaccinated.

Are Transition House clients who are identified as ‘high risk contacts’ required to quarantine?

To help reduce further spread of the virus, HKPRDHU requires high-risk contacts to quarantine for 14 days.

However, many Transition House clients are struggling with multiple non-COVID-related health complications and with histories of trauma that make full compliance with quarantine requirements difficult to achieve. The best policy to ensure the health and well-being of shelter clients is to provide a safe space for self-isolation, and to support clients to do so as much as possible.

HKPRDHU, Transition House and Northumberland County are working closely together to provide this support to clients. Clients are advised of the importance of self-isolation during the outbreak period, and while they are not detained if they choose to leave the premises, clients are doing their best to abide by these measures.

The pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on these most vulnerable members of our community, adding further complexity to their already difficult circumstances. Individuals experiencing homelessness need the community's kindness and compassion, now more than ever.

Does the current outbreak at Transition House shelter pose any risk to the public?

HKPRDHU, the County and Transition House staff are working closely together to ensure extensive infection control and outbreak management measures are in place at the shelter to mitigate risk for clients, staff and the community.

In addition, since the declaration of outbreak, testing of clients and staff has been completed at the facility. All results received to date have been negative.

HKPRDHU has also delivered on-site vaccination for any remaining consenting clients and staff who have not previously been vaccinated.

Public Health officials do also recommend measures that each of us can take to improve our personal safety and decrease our risk during the pandemic. This includes staying home except for essential reasons, and taking precautions when out in the community, including washing hands frequently, wearing a mask as directed, and maintaining physical distance from others outside our own household.

Can community members experiencing homelessness still access emergency shelter services while Transition House is in outbreak?

During the outbreak period, all new admissions to Transition House are paused while current clients are supported to isolate in place.

To ensure ongoing system-wide shelter capacity, overflow accommodations have been arranged with local motels. Community members experiencing homelessness can continue to access emergency shelter services through the coordinated entry system managed by Transition House by calling 905-376-9562.

Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre

Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre provides shelter services for women and families fleeing violence and abuse. Cornerstone delivers a coordinated care approach, connecting women with counselors, housing, and family support workers, all under one roof.

Anishnaabe Kwewag Gamig (AKG)

Anishnaabe Kwewag Gamig (AKG) is an emergency shelter facility that accommodates indigenous and non-indigenous women and their children who are experiencing family violence. A 24-hour support line and walk-in services are also available. For more information call 905-352-3708 or toll free at 1-800-388-5171.

Additional Supports for Unsheltered Residents

If you are homeless or need help finding more suitable housing, you can contact:

Learn More About…

Local Homelessness Data

From April 16 to 20, 2018, volunteers spoke with individuals and families across Northumberland who were experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. This outreach was part of Registry Week, an initiative designed to help inform local and provincial housing and homelessness programs and policies.

The full summary of the information gathered is in the 2018 State of Homelessness in Northumberland County report

Affordable Housing Strategy

Learn more about Northumberland County's Affordable Housing Strategy.

Furniture and appliances

If you were homeless and have recently found a place to live, you may be able to get help with furniture and appliances.

To learn more, contact your caseworker or call 905-372-6846 or 1-800-354-7050 ext. 2468.

Our performance data

Interested in learning about what we are doing? Check out our C&SS Spotlight for our performance data.

Renovate Northumberland

Learn more about Renovate Northumberland and find out how to apply.

ReNew It

Learn more about ReNew It and find out how to apply.

Habitat for Humanity homeownership

Low-income families can apply to purchase a Habitat home with no down payment and an interest-free mortgage.

For more information, call Habitat for Humanity at 289-252-0999.