Due to the high cost of living and rising inflation rates, many Canadians struggle to secure safe and affordable homes. The housing crisis in Canada’s major cities makes the situation even worse as individuals and families can no longer find reasonably priced housing options in urban areas.
Fortunately, the Government of Canada has come up with a solution to help renters through the one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit.
The Canada Housing Benefit is a provincially administered benefit to assist low-income individuals and households with their rental costs.
This program is available in different Canadian provinces, such as Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, Ontario, and others.
For example, under the Canada-Ontario Housing Benefit (COHB), the government will pay the difference between 30% of the household’s income and the average market rent in the area.
The one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit gives a one-time payment of $500 to eligible low-income renters who experience housing challenges.
It’s a way for the federal government to help renters as housing prices continue to skyrocket nationwide.
Who is Eligible for the Canada Housing Benefit?
This program is for low-income renters with adjusted net incomes below $20,000 for individuals and $35,000 for families who pay at least 30% of their net income on rent.
To receive the $500 one-time top-up, applicants should meet the following requirements:
- Filed their 2021 benefit and income tax return;
- A Canadian resident for tax purposes in 2022;
- Paid at least 30% of their adjusted net income on rent in 2022;
- At least 15 years old as of December 1, 2022; and
- Have declared their principal residence in Canada as of December 1, 2022.
You can apply by logging in to your Canada Revenue Agency or CRA “My Account” or using an online form.
Those who don’t have access to the online systems can call CRA’s line at 1-800-282-8079 and ask for help from agents to complete the application over the phone.
Learn how to register and open a CRA My Account.
If you applied through your CRA account online, it takes up to five business days to deposit the amount to your account.
If you can’t apply through your CRA My Account, a cheque will be mailed to you, which will arrive in about ten business days.
The Canada Housing Benefit for renters is a smart move to help families and individuals struggling to pay rent. If you think you qualify for the program, start applying so you can enjoy this benefit ASAP.
Related: Here are the different Social Assistance Programs in Canada.
No, certain requirements have to be met to qualify for the Canada Housing Benefit.
To qualify for the Housing Benefit, individuals should have a maximum income of $20,000 or less and $35,000 or less for families.
Yes, as the maximum Housing Benefit you can get is the full amount of the rent you have to pay.
Yes, Canada offers low-income housing that provides financial assistance to renters.
Related: Important questions to ask when buying a house in Canada.