Affordable housing is a critical issue in Canada, and the federal government has taken steps to address the issue through the Canada Housing Benefit (CHB) program. Recently, the government announced an additional $99 million in funding for the program. This funding will help more Canadians access affordable housing and improve the financial stability of low-income households.
It’s unclear how much it will increase individual payments through the rent support. The benefit was last available to applicants between Dec. 12, 2022, to March 31, 2023. It offered one-time, tax-free payments of $500.
To give you a sense if you or someone you know will qualify for the one-time payment, we’ve summarized the qualifications from the previous time the government provided this one-time benefit. We will update the blog when the formal rules are updated on the Government of Canada website.
PREVIOUS Eligibility Requirements
- Age Requirement: - You must be at least 15 years old
- Residency Requirement: - Your primary residence must have been in Canada. This could have been any abode, dwelling or other place rented. Examples of principal residence included a house, cottage, condominium, apartment in an apartment building, apartment in a duplex, college or university residence, trailer, mobile home, or houseboat.
- Tax Residency: - You must be a resident of Canada for tax purposes.
- Adjusted Family Net Income: Your adjusted family net income: Families: $35,000 or less - Individuals: $20,000 or less
- Eligible Rent: To qualify for the benefit, the rent you paid must meet the following conditions: -It should be equal to at least 30% of your adjusted family net income. To determine if your rent payments qualify, please verify the eligibility criteria.
For all the working kids out there, if you paid rent to a parent or another relative, this was eligible as rent ONLY if the payment was considered by the CRA as rental income for tax purposes for the parent or relative who received it.
Also, for anyone on social assistance programs or provincial or territorial rental assistance programs where payments are made directly to your landlord on your behalf was not considered eligible rent amounts. Only payments that YOU paid to a landlord as rent were eligible.
As the announcement has just been made, it will be important to verify the eligibility requirements to ensure you qualify for the one-time payment and to do so before any deadlines are put in place.
In conclusion, the Canada Housing Benefit is an important program that helps low-income households access affordable housing. With the recent announcement of additional funding, the CHB program is set to help even more Canadians access affordable housing. If you think you might qualify, keep watch and apply for the benefit. Every little bit helps in this inflationary environment.
Stay Informed with us,
Cam and Eric