Temporary rent assistance is expanding to more than 80 communities across Alberta, the provincial government announced Friday.
The Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit, which was initially launched in Alberta’s seven major centres, is expanding to support surrounding communities, such as Rocky Mountain House.
“Expanding the benefit is critical in ensuring housing options for many vulnerable families across the province,” said Franklin Kutuadu, Red Deer Housing Authority CAO.
“As a regional housing management body, it has been a real challenge for us not to accept many potential clients who were eligible but out of the city limits. We now have the opportunity to provide much-needed help to families and individuals between jobs or having a hard time making ends meet during these difficult times.”
Nate Horner, minister of agriculture, forestry and rural economic development, said this rent support will provide relief for families and communities struggling with rising inflation costs and promote sustainable growth in rural Alberta.
“Our agriculture, food and forestry sectors are largely based in rural communities, and we are looking to these regions of the province to help lead Alberta’s economic recovery. I’m pleased that the Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit will be added to the list of actions we are taking to make life better for rural Albertans,” said Horner.
The Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit provides a subsidy for low-income working households or those between jobs. Support is available for up to two years to help tenants afford their rent while they stabilize or improve their situation.
The benefit is provided on a first-come, first-served basis and is paid directly to eligible tenants. The benefit amount is determined by household size and location, and is a minimum of $100 per month.
Households may be eligible if they are below the local income thresholds, are currently employed or have been employed in the last 24 months and are not receiving social assistance.
Lori Sigurdson, NDP critic for seniors and housing, said the United Conservative Party has “failed Albertans” who need housing.
“The UCP stood by as homelessness disturbingly skyrocketed throughout the pandemic and now as the rising cost of living puts rent out of reach for more Albertans,” said Sigurdson.
Albertans can learn more or check if they qualify online at alberta.ca/RentAssistance.