This program started in 1966, is operated by the Ontario Ministry of Health Long Term Care, is entering its 52nd year as a successful program.

An HSC provides a home-like setting for persons with special needs that require some support with daily living. The residents are people who are vulnerable with respect to securing and maintaining housing and other daily living activities. The provider is required to provide the following minimum services as laid out in the HSC Operation Manual.

  • 24 hour on-site presence by staff
  • 3 meals per day plus snacks
  • Housekeeping including laundry
  • Supervision of medication
  • Arranging medical appointments

The Ministry provides homes with residents that have been discharged from hospital and can live a “normal” life with some assisted living. Residents are independent and are free to come and go from the homes and must be able to live co-operatively with others. Most residents are long term residents.

Payment for the provider is based on a per diem rate set by the Ontario Legislature and is paid directly to the provider each month as per the Homes for Special Care Act R.S.O. 1990. 

The homes are exempt from the Land Lord Tenant Act 2006 and the Retirement Home Act R.S.O. 2007. If the Home is the owner's principal residence the operation will be Income Tax Exempt as per the Federal Tax Code.

The operators are responsible for providing board and lodging for the residents as well as providing supervision of medication and arranging medical appointments for the residents. The homes are required to have a staff member on the site 24 hours a day.

Q. & A.

Q.   What qualifications does one need to own and operate an HSC?

A.   One must have a Vulnerable Persons Police Clearance and a Basic First Aid/CPR certificate.

Q.   What qualifications are required for employees?

A.   No qualifications except for the VulnerablePersons Police Clearance and Basic First Aid/CPR Certificate.

Q.   Do we need a nurse to administer the medications?

A.   No because there is no dispensing of medication. The medication comes in bubble packs clearly labeled with the residents’ name.

Q.   How do I handle violent residents?

A.   Violent persons are not candidates for these types of homes. The Ministry workers who place residents will ensure all the residents are compatible and can live co-operatively.

Q.   Do I have to be at the home all the time?

A.   No. As an owner your responsibility will be to ensure that a capable person is on-site all the time. However, many owners of smaller homes do work in the homes to save on labour costs and also because they enjoy the work of caring for vulnerable people.


For more information on HSC's, review some of the links shown below:

Funding increase for HSC's

Licence application for HSC                

HSC Act R.S.O. 1990

(Ministry of Health LTC HSC site)

(Sample application form for residents to be admitted to a HSC)

Q&A for Vulnerable Persons Police Check

Online First Aid and CPR 

St Johns Ambulance First Aid courses

Community Care Access Centres - CCAC

Canadian Mental Health Association

Alzheimer Society Information

HSC Forms and Public Information

Homes for Special Care Program