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.
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,” Josephine Pon, Minister of Seniors and Housing said. “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.
“Everyone deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” Ahmed Hussen, federal Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) said. “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.”
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 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.