Alberta: Rent support for 35,500 Alberta households in need

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Why We Should Support Sustainable Housing

Edmonton – News – 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. 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,” said Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing.

Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) states, “Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. Our government recognizes the long-standing need for predictable funding for housing in Alberta. That’s why today, we are taking another significant step toward our goal of building strong communities where Albertans continue to prosper and thrive, now and for generations to come. This is the National Housing Strategy at work. 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 Lethbridge Housing Authority is thankful for the investment of $444 million into Alberta’s Rent Supplement Program. We look forward to assisting households in the Lethbridge area with a flexible long-term housing benefit as well as providing the Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit to members of our community who are recently unemployed,” commented Robin James, chief administrative officer, Lethbridge Housing Authority

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.

Quick facts

  • 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.
  • More than 24,000 households in Alberta are currently waiting for affordable housing.
  • About 7,600 Alberta households are receiving rent assistance.
  • 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.
  • The Canada-Alberta Housing Benefit is part of the 10-year bilateral agreement between the governments of Canada and Alberta, under the National Housing Strategy (NHS). NHS invests a total of $1.1 billion, cost-shared by the federal government and the Government of Alberta, to protect, renew and expand social and community housing; support Alberta’s priorities related to housing repair, construction and affordability; and provide a portable rent subsidy directly to households.
  • Canada’s NHS is a $72-plus billion plan that will give more Canadians a place to call home.

Associated links

The Alberta ministry of Seniors and Housing fosters the development of affordable housing and supports access to housing options for Albertans most in need. The ministry works with seniors, their families and caregivers, Albertans who require housing supports and communities and other government partners. A more detailed description of the ministry and its programs and initiatives can be found at alberta.ca/seniors-and-housing.

Learn more about Alberta’s affordable housing programs.