Overview

The Alberta government works with a variety of housing providers, including municipalities, housing management bodies, non-profit and private sector organizations, to build and operate affordable housing for Albertans with low income.

Under the Alberta Housing Act and regulations, as well as operating agreements, housing providers are responsible for the day-to-day operation of housing programs and managing applications for housing.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the affordable housing programs, applicants must have an income below local income limits as determined by the market for that community. Refer to the income thresholds document to determine if your income qualifies.

Applicants must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Other applicable eligibility requirements from the housing provider may apply.

Once deemed eligible, applicants are given priority based on need. Priority of need is determined by a number of factors, including (but not limited to):

  • income
  • assets
  • number of dependants
  • current housing condition

Government conducts the Rural Apartment Vacancy and Rental Cost Survey each year to help inform the annual income thresholds used to determine eligibility for some housing programs.

Community housing

The Community Housing Program provides subsidized rental housing to low-income families, seniors and individuals who cannot afford other housing options due to circumstance.

A tenant's rent, which includes heat, water and sewer expenses, is based on 30% of a household's total annual income (non-senior household). Rent does not include electricity, phone, TV and any additional services such as parking.

Management and tenant selection responsibilities belong to local housing providers.

To find housing, see the How to apply section below

Seniors apartments

Also known as the Seniors Self-contained Housing Program, this program provides apartment-style housing to seniors who are able to live independently with or without assistance of community based services.

Applicants must be over 65 years of age. Exceptions may be made for applicants with special circumstances. In addition, applicants must be functionally independent, with or without the assistance of community based services.

A tenant's rent, which includes heat, water and sewer expenses, is based on 30% of a household's adjusted income. Rent does not include electricity, phone, TV and any additional services such as parking.

Management and tenant selection responsibilities belong to local housing providers.

To find housing, see the How to apply section below.

Seniors lodge

Changes to seniors lodge program are proposed in Budget 2019: A plan for jobs and the economy.

The Seniors Lodge Program offers rooms, meals, services and recreational opportunities for independent seniors. Community-based services may help offer these amenities and opportunities.

A seniors lodge may be appropriate for those whose care needs would not otherwise be appropriately provided for in a health care facility.

Applicants must be over 65 years of age. Exceptions may be made for applicants with special circumstances. In addition, applicants must be functionally independent, with or without the assistance of community based services.

Management and resident selection responsibilities belong to local housing providers. Each local housing provider sets their own lodge rates, and rates vary between regions. Regardless of the monthly lodge rate, each resident must be left with at least $322* in monthly disposable income.

To find housing, see the How to apply section below.

*An Act to Combat Poverty and Fight for Albertans with Disabilities established new minimum monthly disposable income amount for the Seniors Lodge Program effective January 1, 2019. This amount will be indexed annually to keep pace with inflation.

News: Helping the economic recovery reach all Albertans (November 8, 2018)

Special needs housing

Special Needs Housing options are available for individuals who have special housing needs, including:

  • people with developmental disabilities
  • people with physical challenges
  • victims of family violence
  • wards of the provincial government
  • the hard-to-house
  • any other group with special housing needs

Special Needs Housing options may include support services for residents.

Management and tenant selection responsibilities belong to local housing providers.

To find housing, see the How to apply section below.

Rent supplement programs

Changes to rent supplement programs are proposed in Budget 2019: A plan for jobs and the economy.

The existing rent supplement programs are currently under review. We are not accepting new applications at this time.

Rent supplement programs help households find affordable rental accommodation by providing rent subsidies in eligible rental projects.

Management and tenant selection responsibilities belong to local housing providers.

Types of Rent Supplement programs

Private Landlord Rent Supplement

Local housing providers pay private landlords a rent supplement to subsidize the difference between a negotiated market rent and 30% of a household's adjusted income.

Direct to Tenant Rent Supplement

A subsidy is paid directly to an eligible tenant to help with rental costs. This is delivered to the eligible tenant by the local housing management body. The subsidy is based on the difference between 30% of a household's income and an agreed upon market rent, to a maximum subsidy established by the housing management body.

For information on how to apply, call 780-422-0122.

How to apply

Step 1. Determine the program that meets your needs

Each affordable housing program has program-specific eligibility requirements. Determine which program is best for you.

Step 2. Find a local housing provider

Once you find a program that meets your needs, click on the Find housing button below to search for a local housing provider responsible for subsidized housing in your area.

Find housing

Step 3. Contact the local housing provider for an application

Contact a local housing provider for more information on the desired facility and how to apply.

Resources

Supportive Living Accommodation Licensing Act

Alberta Housing Act and Regulations

Seniors Lodge Program Advisory Committee Report