Affordable Housing And Rent Assistance In Alberta, Canada

Affordable housing and rent assistance

The Alberta government works with housing operators to provide affordable housing for Albertans with low incomes. Options available to help you with the costs of rental housing include:

monthly benefits to subsidize market housing
affordable housing

Rent assistance

Monthly rent benefits are available to help Albertans in need afford their rent. 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.

Who is eligible for Affordable housing and rent assistance in Alberta

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 to

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 incomes.

Benefit features

  • 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 the 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

Benefit features

paid directly to tenants
available for households in Calgary, Edmonton, Fort McMurray, Grande Prairie, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Red Deer, and most surrounding communities

the amount is calculated based on household size and location and will be reduced in the second year – see Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit rates on Apumone.

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 for Affordable housing and rent assistance

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