EDMONTON – The governments of Alberta and Canada will provide rent support to 35,500 low-income Alberta households in need through the Canada-Alberta Housing Benefit. More than 24,000 households in Alberta are currently waiting for affordable housing.
Josephine Pon, Alberta’s Minister of Seniors and Housing and Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), announced a $444-million combined investment ($222 million each) through the Canada-Alberta Housing Benefit to fund rent support for about 35,500 households in Alberta. This joint funding is based on investments ranging from 2019 to 2028.
“When we set out to redesign Alberta’s Rent Supplement Program, we had the current and future needs of Albertans in mind,” said Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing.
“I am pleased the program changes have put us in a position to maximize federal funding and provide rent support to even more Albertans, especially during this difficult time.”
The Canada-Alberta Housing Benefit’s joint funding will support Alberta’s Rent Supplement Program through the Rent Assistance Benefit and Temporary Rent Assistance to help about 35,500 households with low income afford their rent over the lifetime of the agreement. The program features flexibility in housing choice and includes a long-term benefit for those most in need and a new temporary benefit for working Albertans and those between jobs.
The Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit, which opened on May 1, provides a modest subsidy to help eligible tenants in Alberta’s seven major centres afford their rent while they stabilize or improve their situation. The Rent Assistance Benefit, for those with the lowest income, reopened on April 1 following a program review. Details on both benefits are available online.
The Canada-Alberta Housing Benefit will provide targeted support to meet the significant housing needs of about 35,500 Albertans with low income between 2019-20 and 2027-28. The governments of Alberta and Canada each invested $222 million into the program, for a total of $444 million.
Details on the eligibility criteria and benefit amounts for Alberta’s Rent Supplement Program can be found at alberta.ca/affordable-housing-programs.aspx.
Alberta’s Budget 2021 increases the rent supplement program budget by $16 million, for a total of $67.5 million, while the capital plan allocates $238 million over three years to provide new and regenerated affordable housing units and maintain the provincially owned portfolio.