Have questions about our housing programs?

See some of the most common questions we receive below. If you don’t see the information you need, contact our Customer Success team at [email protected] or 780-420-6161.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Do I have to submit an online application?
    • All applications must be submitted online using the Housing Application Portal (RentCafé) or the Civida Benefit Portal (for rent assistance), unless there are special circumstances.
      • You can use your phones to apply.
      • You can use also the computers available in our main office (10232 – 112 Street NW) for free.
      • You can also go to any Edmonton Public Library to use their computers for free.
    • Please contact us if you need an alternative application or assistance.
    • If you decide to apply in-person, please note that this takes longer. We recommend you apply online as this is a faster alternative.
  • How does the priority list work? How long will I be on the priority list?
    • We must follow the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation (SHAR) to assign Community Housing homes. Priority is decided based on a point system – the more points an applicant has, the higher they will be on the priority list. It is not first come, first served.
      • Note that our Near Market Housing program does not use point scoring.
    • We will contact the applicant with the highest point score when there is an available home that a) matches the building(s) they selected and b) has the number of bedrooms they require.
      • It is important to update any changes in your application because it may change your point score and your place on the priority list.
      • In the event that more than one applicant has the same point score, the person that applied first will have priority.
    • Because the priority list is always shifting based on who else has applied, we cannot tell applicants how long they will wait for housing.
  • Does Civida provide translation support?

    Yes, you can access FREE translation supports on:

    • Civida’s website via Recite Me toolbar

    Click on the floating button on the right side of any page to launch the Recite Me toolbar.recite me launch it button

    • In-person and over-the-phone via CanTalk

    Call 1-866-820-4346 and give them Civida’s translation passcode: 1921. See the available languages here.

  • Do I have to live in Edmonton for a certain length of time before applying?

    No, you do not have to live in Edmonton before applying. You can live anywhere in Canada. You just need to move to Edmonton when you get accepted into our affordable homes.

  • Who counts as a member of my household?

    We must follow the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation (SHAR) to define who counts as a member of your household. A member of your household includes:

    • Your spouse or adult interdependent partner
    • A person related to you by blood, adoption or marriage
    • A person who lives regularly with you as part of your family unit
    • Any dependents that live with you, including children for whom you have sole custody or at least 50% joint custody
    • A live-in aide
    • A person who is usually a member of your household but is temporarily absent due to:
      • Military service
      • Hospitalization
      • Employment
      • School attendance
      • Other special circumstances
  • Do you allow pets?

    Tenants may have a pet with prior approval from Civida. Please indicate if you have a pet, or plan to acquire a pet, in your application. Service dogs are not considered pets, and are permitted. If you have a service dog, you will be asked to provide documentation as part of your application. For more information about pets, please review our information sheet on Pets and Service Dogs.

  • I haven’t heard anything from your office. What should I do?
    • We process applications in the order they are received. During periods of high volume, it may take several weeks for your initial application to be reviewed and placed on the priority list. Please check the status of your application in the Housing Application Portal (RentCafé) or Civida Benefit Portal (for rent assistance).
    • Once you are on the priority list, please contact us at least once a year to ensure your file remains active.
    • Note that we are unable to offer any emergency housing. Please call 211 for a referral to other housing organizations in the Edmonton area.
  • Can a support worker, family member or friend contact Civida about my application?

    Yes, a support worker, family member or friend can contact Civida on your behalf. However, you must first complete a Consent to Release Personal Information form. To protect your privacy, we will only speak to people you list on this form. This includes any MLA or City Councillor office that may be helping you.

  • When do I need to update my application?
    • It is very important to let us know if your information changes after you submit your application. This can change your point score and your place on the priority list.
    • Be sure to update your application when:
      • Someone has moved in or out of your home
      • Someone passes away in your home
      • A baby is born or adopted into your home
      • Your income or a household member’s income has changed
      • Your contact information has changed: email, phone number, mailing address
      • You have moved to a new address
      • Your current rent amount has changed
      • If the area or building you want to live in has changed
      • If you will need a different number of bedrooms than when you originally applied
    • Please update your application details.
  • How do I log into the online Applicant Portal?
    • New Applicants: If you are a new applicant, you will first create an account using your email address and a password that you set. In the future, you will then use your email address and password to log into the Applicant Portal.
    • Existing Applicants: If you already have an application on file with Civida, please contact Civida to:
      • Provide us with a current email address
      • Receive a Civida application code
      • You will then create an account using your email address, Civida application code, and a password that you set. In the future, you will then use your email address and password to log into the Applicant Portal.
  • How do I reset my password in the Housing Applicant Portal?

    Go to the Housing Applicant Portal (RentCafé) and click the “Forgot Password” button. Type your email address on the field provided. You will receive an email asking you to reset your password. Click the “Reset Password” on the email and type your new password. If you have issue with resetting your password, email us at [email protected] or call 780-420-6161.

  • I have more questions about the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation changes - where can I find answers?

    On January 1, 2023, the Government of Alberta approved updates to the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation. These updates must be implemented by Civida and all housing management bodies in Alberta by July 1, 2023. The updates mean that there will be changes to the application, rent setting, and income verification processes. These changes are intended to make access to affordable housing more equitable and simpler. We know that the affordable housing process can be confusing, so if you have questions that are not answered by these FAQs, please contact us at 780-420-6161 or [email protected].

    For Applicants

    1. Will my application be cancelled? Do these changes mean I have to re-apply?
      If you are a current applicant, your application will not be cancelled. You do not need to reapply from the beginning. You will, however, need to sign into your account and answer the new application questions.
    2. Will I lose my spot on the list?
      Civida does not have a wait list. We use a priority list based on a points system – the more points you have, the higher you will be placed on the priority list. With the new changes, all applicants will be re-scored. This will mean that applicants may have different point scores than before but no applicants will be removed from the priority list.
    3. Will my wait be longer?
      While we cannot give you an exact date of when you will be at the top of the priority list, the original date of your application will not change. Check your account regularly and update it if there are any changes to your income or household status.
    4. I fit into multiple discretionary points categories. Can I get points for more than just one category?
      The new changes allow Civida to give points based on categories we did not have before. Applicants can get a maximum of 10 points in each category. There are 3 categories each with two subcategories. Applicants can potentially get 30 points total!
    5. Why do you need to know more demographic information from me?
      Prior to the changes, Civida did not collect demographic information about sexual orientation, Indigenous status, or race because it was not essential in placing people in housing. However, the Government of Alberta recognizes that there are certain groups that face difficulty in finding housing. In order to be more equitable, Civida, and all other housing management bodies, will be collecting more specific demographic information about applicants.

    For Tenants/Rent Benefit Recipients

    1. Will my rent increase? If so, when and by how much?
      There is a possibility that your rent will increase because of the changes to the regulation. However, for housing to remain affordable, the Government of Alberta has limited how much housing management bodies can increase rent because of these changes. This means that your rent will increase by a maximum of 10%, if it increases at all. In some cases, you may pay less rent.
    2. I am over 21 but still in school. Does my income still count?
      If you are over 21 years old and in school and. . .
      – You are NOT a dependent (you are over 25), your school funding does not count as income, but income earned from employment does count towards rent setting.
      – You ARE a dependent (you are under 25 years old), then your income will not count.

    General

    1. What if I do not have a Notice of Assessment?
      If you do not have your Notice of Assessment, you can still submit your income information using supporting income documents.
      • If you are an applicant, please include copies of these documents in your application file.
      • If you are a tenant, you can submit your income information for your Annual Income Review. We encourage all our tenants to file their taxes so they can find out what type of benefits they are eligible for.
    2. I have had a significant income change since my last NOA, and it no longer reflects my current situation, what should I do?
      If you are an applicant and have had a significant income change, please log into your account and update it accordingly using documents that will verify your income. If you have not received your new NOA yet, you can use paystubs, social assistance receipts or any document that shows your current income.
      If you are a tenant and your income has changed significantly since your last NOA, please let your Housing Clerk know. To verify your income, you can use paystubs, social assistance receipts or anything else that shows your current income.
    3. Do I need to claim my child support payments as income?
      No, child support payments are NOT counted as income, so do not include them in your income.
  • Do I have to complete a Police Information Check/Criminal Record Check?

    No, you do not have to complete a Police Information Check.

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