Government subsidizes affordable housing programs, while local housing providers are responsible for managing the program and selecting tenants.
The Rent Supplement Program provides a subsidy to help make rental accommodation more affordable for individuals and families. See below for the 2 types of rent supplement benefits.
Under the Canada-Alberta Housing Benefit, the Governments of Canada and Alberta jointly provide funding for the Rent Supplement Program. This initiative is part of the National Housing Strategy. To learn more about how the province and the federal government support affordable housing in Alberta, see Canada-Alberta Affordable Housing Agreements.
The Government of Alberta also provides affordable housing units. To find out about the available options, who is eligible and how to apply, see Affordable housing.
Eligible applicants are prioritized on a first come, first served basis. To qualify for provincial affordable housing programs, applicants must:
- have an income below local income limits as determined by the market for that community. Check the income thresholds document to see if your income qualifies
- be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident
Note: The Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit has additional eligibility criteria.
Types of rent assistance
Rent Assistance Benefit
This long-term benefit subsidizes rent for Albertans with low income.
- paid directly to tenants
- available through most housing management bodies across Alberta
- amount is calculated based on household income and local market rent
- households are prioritized based on need
- may be renewed annually
- no limit to annual benefit renewals if eligible
Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit
This short-term benefit provides a subsidy for working households with low income or those between jobs. Support should help eligible tenants afford their rent while they stabilize or improve their situation.
Additional eligibility criteria
In addition to the basic eligibility criteria above, households qualify for this benefit if they are:
- employed or have been employed in the last 24 months
- not receiving social assistance, including:
- Income Support
- Learner Income Support
- Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped
- Alberta Seniors Benefit
- Guaranteed Income Supplement
- Old Age Security
- paid directly to tenants
- available for households in Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer, and most surrounding communities
- amount calculated based on household size and location and will be reduced in the second year – see Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit rates
- 2-year limit with eligibility reassessed after the first year
- households are prioritized on a first-come, first-served basis
- households can reapply for rent assistance at the end of 2 years
Note: The Private Landlord Rent Supplement is now closed. Current recipients will transition to the Rent Assistance Benefit as funding agreements for those units expire.
How to apply
To apply for the Rent Supplement Program:
Step 1. Answer a few questions
Use the Find Housing tool to see which housing options are available to meet your needs.
Step 2. Select a housing provider
Look through the available options that are displayed in the Find Housing tool after you answer the questions, and choose a local housing provider that offers a program that suits your situation.
Step 3. Get an application
Contact the housing provider for an application for rent assistance. You will find contact information for providers at the end of the Find Housing tool.
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