Low-income families and seniors in British Columbia who are paying rent in the private market will receive more help from the provincial government, it was announced today.
That help comes in the form of what the government says is improvements to two of its rental-assistance programs, under the the province’s 30-point housing plan.
Essentially, the announcement will see eligibility requirements and benefits expanded under the Rental Assistance Program and Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER).
“Too many people aren’t able to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having secure rental housing,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
With this change, she added, “we are making housing more affordable for low-income families and seniors in communities throughout the province.”
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Effective Sept. 1, 2018, as a result of increased rent ceilings around the province, more low-income families and seniors will be eligible for additional assistance to help with their monthly payments in the private market.
The average monthly payment for SAFER recipients will increase by approximately $78, or 42%, from $187 to $265.
Low-income families will also benefit from higher rental-assistance benefits. Under BC’s Rental Assistance Program, the maximum gross household income to qualify for benefits is being raised from $35,000 to $40,000. The average monthly subsidy for recipients is increasing by approximately $67, or 17%, from $405 to $472.
“Many seniors are struggling to pay their bills, and some are even forced to choose between paying for medications or paying rent,” said Anne Kang, Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors. “These are decisions no one should have to make, and our government is working to make sure life is affordable for seniors, so they can stay in their homes and communities.”