Section 1

General Issues

Sub-Section 1.13

Safety Net Program


no legislative references


Safety Net Program: a Branch program to assist tenants to contact people or programs that can help them when an Order of Possession is issued.

Special needs tenants: for this subsection, special needs tenants are:

  • tenants with disabilities;
  • the elderly; and
  • families with children


The Branch has a Safety Net Program to give special needs tenants, who are facing eviction, information to help them make new living arrangements.

The Branch may assess a tenant’s need for Safety Net assistance before or during a hearing on an Application for an Order of Possession.



The officer reviews all Order of Possession files and identifies special needs tenants. The officer attempts to contact the tenant to see if they have already made arrangements to move. The officer may contact any agency they feel may be able to help the tenant, or may give the tenant information about agencies.

Steps ▼

If a mediation officer is able to contact the tenant before an Order of Possession hearing, the mediation officer notes on the file that they have done the Safety Net Assessment. The officer then:

  • ensures that the tenant understands the Order of Possession process;
  • asks if the tenant has found new housing and made arrangements to move out of the rental unit; if necessary, the officer may refer the tenant to a social housing agency for permanent or temporary housing; and

  • assesses if there is any special service required. For example: having a city or municipal Mobile Crisis Unit visit the tenant.

If the Order of Possession application is for non-payment of rent and the tenant is receiving income assistance, the officer may contact the tenant’s worker and make them aware of the situation. In some cases, the worker may be able to pay arrears that, with the landlord’s agreement, allow the tenant to remain in the unit. In other cases, the worker may be able to give the tenant financial assistance to help them move.

The mediation officer may also give the tenant information about receiving credit counselling or help with money management.

If a mediation officer is not able to contact the tenant before the hearing,
the hearing officer will ask the tenant (if present) or the landlord (if the tenant is not present) about the family and other relevant circumstances of the tenant to determine if the tenant needs Safety Net assistance.

A tenant may contest an Application for an Order of Possession, by giving evidence at the hearing. The hearing officer will decide whether or not an Order of Possession will be given. If the hearing officer grants an Order of Possession and it appears the tenant does need Safety Net assistance, the file will be returned to the mediation officer for handling.

Forms & Form Letters


For information on another Safety Net use, see Landlord’s Non-Payment of Utilities – Vital Service, Section 5.

Policy Developed

September, 1993

Last Revision

March, 2004

Other Resources


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