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Are there subsidies for people who are renting?

I’ve heard of a subsidy for seniors and others with lower incomes that can help with rent.
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I’ve heard of a subsidy for seniors and others with lower incomes that can help with rent. Is this true?

There are rental subsidies available through BC Housing for those with low to moderate incomes who are either seniors 60 and over, or families with at least one child. The best way to check your eligibility is to use the rental subsidy calculator on their website.

The subsidy for seniors age 60 and over is called SAFER. This stands for Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters. According to BC Housing, the average monthly SAFER subsidy is $195, but each eligible person’s amount would vary depending on a number of factors.

For low to moderate income families, there is BC Housing’s RAP, or Rental Assistance Program. You may be eligible for this program if a) you have a total before-tax household income of $40,000 or less and b) you have at least one dependent child. The average monthly RAP subsidy is approximately $390.

To find out if you are eligible for SAFER or RAP, use BC Housing’s online calculator here: bchousing.org/housing-assistance/rental-assistance-programs/rap-safer-calculator.

If using technology is not your strength, no problem! Call BC Housing directly for support at 604-433-2218 or 1-800-257-7756 and say you want help checking if you are eligible for their rental subsidy programs. On this phone line, follow the prompts, and listen for the option for SAFER or RAP depending on your need.

If you would like some further support looking into this information, find any of this confusing, or need help applying, the Resource Centre is here for you. Call us to make an appointment or chat on the phone at 604-885-4088. Don’t let bureaucracy or technology be a reason you don’t apply for possible free money! We are here to help with that!

Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Appointments recommended, drop-ins welcome. Do you have a question? Just Ask Angie! Email: angie@resourcecentre.ca.