Monday, September 26, 2022

Province expands temporary rent assistance program

The province is expanding its temporary rent assistance program to more than 80 communities.

The Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit was initially launched in Alberta’s seven major centres and the province says by expanding it to communities like Airdrie, Fort MacLeod, Rocky Mountain House and Conklin, more Albertans will have support to help pay their rent.

It is provided on a first come, first served basis to eligible tenants and the amount is determined by household size and location. The benefit starts at $100 per month. Households may be eligible if they are below the local income threshold, are currently employed or have been employed in the last 24 months and are not receiving social assistance.

For Lethbridge residents the local income threshold for tenants in a bachelor suite is $32,000; for a one bedroom, it is $39,500 and for a two bedroom it is $45,000. Albertans can check if they are eligible on the province’s website.

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The province redesigned the rent supplement program in March 2021, which included the temporary assistance benefit. The province says the program serves about 11,600 households.

Local housing providers, such as Lethbridge Housing, administer the temporary benefit on behalf of the Government of Alberta.

“With the newly announced expansion of the Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit, Lethbridge Housing Authority is now able to serve over 30 communities in southwestern Alberta. We are thankful for the government’s investment in rent support and look forward to serving rural Albertans,” says Robin James, CAO of Lethbridge Housing Authority.

Josephine Pon, minister of seniors and housing, says rent support are a key component in the province’s 10 year affordable housing strategy.

“Making the best use of rent supports is a key component to Stronger Foundations: Alberta’s 10 Year Affordable Housing Strategy. By expanding the Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit to over 80 communities, more support is available to Albertans in need helping make life more affordable during inflation,” Pon said.

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