$517-million rental housing subsidy for low-income households in BC

Mar 8 2021, 6:33 pm

Over 25,000 low-income rental households across British Columbia will have access to a new Canada-BC Housing Benefit over a decade.

The federal and provincial governments announced today they would jointly fund a $517-million investment in the new benefit program that will target marginalized groups with low incomes assisting with their monthly rent payments.

Half of this investment is already being used to support enhancements that were made to the provincial Rental Assistance Program (RAP) or Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) in 2018.

The program will be offered to eligible households that cannot receive RAP or SAFER, and fall within one or more targeted priority groups, including women and children experiencing or at risk of domestic violence, Indigenous peoples, racialized communities, veterans, youth leaving care, people with disabilities, and people experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.

The federal government’s share of the cost comes from its $2-billion nationwide Canada Housing Benefit, which is being cost-matched by provincial and territorial governments for a total $4 billion investment.

The benefit will cover some of the difference between 30% of gross household income or income assistance, shelter payment, and rent, subject to a maximum rent.

In BC, the benefit will be given directly to qualifying households through non-profit housing providers or by BC Housing.

“We are pleased to work with the federal government to make housing more affordable for British Columbians, and we are glad to see the continued leadership of the Federal Minister of Housing on this file,” said David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing in BC.

“We will continue to work with the federal government to match our housing investments so that even more people in BC can have the peace of mind that comes with having a secure and affordable home in their community. Together we could really make some major progress in addressing the housing crisis in our province.”

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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