Applications for Canada's $500 housing benefit top-up will close this month

Mar 24 2023, 2:27 pm

Last year, the government introduced a one-time $500 top-up to help Canadians pay rent amid soaring housing costs under the Canada Housing Benefit program.

Months later, inflation, rising rents, and intimidating mortgage rates made governmental housing assistance all the more necessary.

The Canada Housing Benefit program began accepting applications on December 12, 2022, allowing millions the option to receive some relief.

The deadline to apply for your top-up is approaching quickly. If you qualify, apply for the benefit before Friday, March 31.

Who’s eligible?

The federal Canada Housing Benefit top-up aims to help low-income renters, with around 1.8 million Canadians eligible for the extra cash.

You’ll need to fit the following criteria to have access to the top-up:

  • You were bornĀ on or before December 1, 2007Ā (at least 15 years old on December 1, 2022)
  • The home, cottage, condo, or apartment where you usually live and pay rent was in Canada on December 1, 2022
  • You are a resident of Canada in 2022 for tax purposes
  • In 2021, you had an adjusted family net income of:
    • $35,000 or less for families
    • $20,000 or less for individuals
  • The 2022 eligible rent that you paid was:
    • paid in the 2022 calendar year
    • paid for any of your qualifying principal residences in 2022
    • equal to at least 30% of your 2021 adjusted family net income

You can find out what you can include as your eligible rentĀ here. Click here to determine if your rent payments are 30% of your adjusted family net income.

What to have ready before you apply

You must ensure you filed your 2021 income taxes and have your rent information on hand.

That rental information includes:

  • Addresses of any principal residences in Canada in 2022
  • Total rent you paid in the 2022 calendar year for these residences
  • Name and contact information of your landlord

Ensure you have access to your Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) My Account, as that is the fastest way to apply for the top-up program. The government also advises that you have your direct deposit info updated with the CRA.

For more information, visit the government’s official page about the benefit here.

With files from Daily Hive’s Isabelle Docto

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