The CHO program is the modernized (2020) version of the Homes for Special Care program enacted by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care in 1966.

The CHO program works collaboratively, through local mental health service providers, with private homeowners and their staff to provide housing, meals and support services in a home setting for people living with serious mental illness.

The program is intended to support people to maintain safe housing and to access supports both in the CHO home and in the community. There is a distinct focus on recovery-oriented services that are flexible and reflect the current needs of people in the homes.

Tenant intake is managed through the local CHO service provider that has been identified by the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to manage CHO homes in a given region. These are primarily branches of the Canadian Mental Health Association, however, do vary by region. The Homeowner enters into a contract to provide services as set out by the CHO service provider. There is a support worker, provided through the CHO service provider, whose role it is to assist tenants with goal setting, appointments, money management & community engagement. Their role is also to act collaboratively and as a liaison between the Homeowner and staff, the Tenants and the CHO service provider.

Payment of rent is monthly, directly from the CHO service provider to the Homeowner.

The most common Homeowner/LandIord requirements are to provide:

  • 3 meals a day plus snacks
  • 24 hour person on site with a CPIC for Vulnerable Sector and First Aid & CPR/AED
  • A furnished home, including the tenants bedroom.
  • Housekeeping (may include laundry, subject to tenants' abilities)
  • Medication tracking and oversight (subject to tenants' abilities)
  • Compliance with Fire Department, Public Health and Residential Tenancies Act

Other requirements may be as set out by the CHO service provider in the Homeowner contract. Collaboration with the CHO service provider is key to meeting the varied needs of the tenants.



CHO-Community Homes for Opportunity

Canadian Mental Health Association - Durham

Canadian Mental Health Association - York Region

CMHA Muskoka - Parry Sound

Implementation of the Community Homes for Opportunity - Article

Middlesex County CMHA

Services and Housing in the Province

Shepherds of Good Hope

Thresholds Home & Support