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Student Loans, Housing, Legal Assistance in Ontario

From MNLCT’s 40 years of experience in the settlement service, we know that elements such as access to financial assistance, suitable housing, and legal support can be crucial for a smooth transition and successful integration.  

In this article, the Settlement Team of MNLCT will address common questions and provide information on various programs and resources available to help you navigate these areas as a newcomer or refugee. By exploring the links provided (green highlighted text), you can find the necessary support to pursue education, secure housing, and access legal assistance. 

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FAQ about Student Loans, Housing, Legal Assistance in Ontario

General services for newcomers in Ontario

 Identification Document 

 Most identification documents must be processed at a Service Canada office. To apply online, please click here


Ongoing, seasonal, and emergency food assistance for families and individuals in needFood Bank Locator


Equity-deserving organizations that offer clothes to low-income residents.


Providing gently used home furnishings to low-income people and families who are moving into permanent living spaces.  


Organizations support opportunities for learning, skill development, and access to information and communications technology (ICT). 


Note: the next benefits are limited to permanent residents of the province of Ontario. Therefore, understanding this term will help you determine whether the benefits apply to you. A permanent resident is someone who has immigrated to Canada, but who is not a Canadian citizen, are citizen of other countries. A temporary resident, like a student or foreign worker, is not a permanent resident. 

Student Loans 

How can I obtain student loans to pay for my college or university education? 

The Canada Student Financial Assistance Program offers grants and loans to full-time and part-time students to assist with post-secondary education expenses. Grants do not need to be repaid, while loans must be repaid after completing school. You may be eligible for multiple grants.

Learn more and check your eligibility for Canada Student Loan through the provided links. 

Are there specific financial aid programs available in Ontario for students? 

The Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) is a financial aid program designed to help students pay for college or university. OSAP offers both grants and loans.

When you apply for OSAP, you are automatically considered for both funding options. If you do not want to take a loan, you can decline it after your application is approved.

Learn more about OSAP, including how to apply, eligibility requirements, and funding amounts. 

Are there programs to assist individuals facing challenges in finding stable employment? 

Better Jobs Ontario (previously called “Second Career“) is a program that provides skills training and financial support to individuals who have been unemployed for six months or longer and are part of a low-income household.

The program offers training for in-demand jobs and financial assistance for various costs. Visit the official page and learn more about eligibility and/or make an appointment to Meet a Counsellor.  

How can I access funding for educational expenses?

The Ontario Learn and Stay Grant offers funding to cover tuition, books, and other direct educational expenses for individuals struggling to pay for their education. Explore the link to get an overview of the program, guidance on how to apply, and a list of eligible programs. 


What resources are available to find appropriate housing? 

According to theCanadian Human Rights Commission, adequate housing should be secure, affordable, habitable, provide basic services, close to employment and basic social services, accessible, and culturally appropriate. For this reason, adequate housing plays a vital role in a newcomer’s settlement.

To apply for subsidized housing, visit the provided link to determine your eligibility and gather the required documents. If you require assistance with rental payments or deposits, the Toronto Rent Bank Grants provide support to residents facing financial challenges. In emergency situations, contact the City of Toronto’s Central line or call 311 for referral services to emergency shelters. 

Where can I seek assistance for landlord-tenant issues? 

The Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB) resolves disputes between residential landlords and tenants, including eviction applications filed by non-profit housing co-operatives. The LTB also provides information about its practices and procedures and the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants under the Residential Tenancies Act 

Make sure you Fill out the form that relates to the specific issue you are trying to resolve. 

Legal Assistance 

Where in Toronto can I obtain Legal Aid that is subsidized? 

The Community and Legal Aid Services Program (CLASP) provides free legal advice and representation to members of the community, as well as University York students. CLASP is funded by The Law Foundation of Ontario, Legal Aid Ontario, York students, and Osgoode Law Hall School. In the clinic, students work under the guidance of experienced lawyers to provide legal assistance. 

What services does Legal Aid Ontario provide and who qualifies for their assistance? 

 Legal Aid Ontario provides legal assistance to low-income individuals. To qualify for their assistance, individuals must meet certain eligibility criteria. Legal Aid Ontario can help pay for a lawyer to represent eligible individuals. Before applying, it is important to gather all the required information.

The application can be submitted online through the Client Portal Login. Additionally, individuals can find community-based legal clinics through the Clinic List. 

What is the focus of Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) and what kind of legal services do they provide? 

Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) focuses on providing information to individuals who face barriers to accessing the justice system, such as income, disability, literacy, and language. As a community legal clinic and part of Ontario’s legal aid system, CLEO offers educational resources and information to empower individuals with legal knowledge. 

What is the purpose of the Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (CSALC) and who can benefit from their services? 

The Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic (CSALC) is a community-based legal clinic that offers free legal services to low-income, non-English speaking clients in Ontario. Their services are specifically tailored to meet the legal needs of individuals from Chinese and Southeast Asian communities who may face language and income barriers. 

Please feel free to get in touch with the MNLCT team and share information.

The province of Ontario, as described in this article, provides a variety of programs and services to support your requirements for education, housing, and legal assistance as a newcomer or refugee.

MNLCT invites you to go through the information on educational student loans, suitable housing possibilities, and getting legal help when you need it. Keep in mind that the Settlement Team is prepared to assist you in your process so you may benefit from these tools to improve your experience with settlement and pave the road for a prosperous future in Canada. 

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