About the Benefit

Funded through the Government of Alberta and the Government of Canada, the Housing Benefit for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) provides assistance to support Albertans escaping abusive situations by helping to pay housing expenses, such as rent, utilities and mortgage payments.

Supported Costs

Supported costs include, but are not limited to:

  • rent
  • mortgage
  • relocating, and 
  • housing start-up costs such as damage deposit.

Locations Served

The Benefit is available across the Province of Alberta.

  • Civida serves all areas in Red Deer and North of Red Deer, including Edmonton, Grande Prairie, and Fort McMurray.
  • Lethbridge Housing Authority serves all communities South of Red Deer.

What is Gender Based Violence?

According to the National Action Plan to End Gender-Based Violence, Gender-based violence (GBV) refers to violence based on gender norms and unequal power dynamics, perpetrated against someone based on their gender, gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender. Gender-based is defined as women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ experiencing violence.

Eligibility

Applicants are processed in order of receipt. Eligibility requirements do not include an income threshold and the benefit does not have an asset value limit.

The Housing Benefit for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence provides financial supports to those who may be underserved, including (but not limited to):

  • women and children fleeing violence who stay in second-stage housing for extended periods of time
  • Indigenous women, who are at higher risk of experiencing gender-based violence
  • 2SLGBTQI+ youth who are not safe living with their family of origin
  • youth exiting government care, who experience violence, including gender-based violence, at higher rates than other population groups
  • Applicants must be an Alberta Resident

Other requirements

  • Must not be receiving another social/community housing benefit such as the Rent Assistance Benefit (RAB) or Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit (TRAB).
  • Must not be living in social/community housing, as outlined under the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation (SHAR).

How the Benefit Works

  • Available across the Province of Alberta.
  • Provides housing cost assistance directly to applicants.
  • Use and transfer anywhere within the province.
  • Total benefit amounts to $7,200 provided over the course of one-year.
  • Flexible monthly payments at $600 a month for one year, $1,200 a month for 6 months, or another amount and duration for special circumstances.
  • Prioritized on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Eligible to apply for other rent assistance or affordable housing programs once the gender-based violence funding has ended.

How to Apply

1
Obtain a referral, Safer Spaces certificate, or make sure you already have a support in place

One of the following is needed before you can apply:

  • A Safer Spaces Certificate, OR
  • A confirmed support already in place, OR
  • A referral from an authorized agency, OR
  • An authorized agency adding your details to the Government of Alberta GBV Benefit portal.

Authorized agencies include:

  • A shelter
  • Income support
  • AISH (Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped), or
  • A social worker.

If you do not have a referral or any of the documents listed above, contact the Civida team at [email protected] or 780-420-6161 for assistance.

 

Applications are submitted by completing the application form online through the Civida Housing Application Portal (RentCafé).

Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility

  • Does the city or community I live in affect my eligibility?

    The Benefit is available across the Province of Alberta.

    • Civida administers the Benefit for Red Deer and all areas north of Red Deer (which includes Edmonton).
    • Lethbridge Housing Authority manages the Benefit for the areas south of Red Deer, including Lethbridge.

    If your referral is submitted by an authorized agency through through the Government of Alberta Benefit portal, it will automatically be directed to the Housing Management Body administering the benefit based on your postal code.

  • I live on a Reserve. Does this affect my eligibility?

    No, living on or off a reserve will not affect eligibility; however applicants must be a resident of Alberta.

  • Is the GBV Benefit gender specific?

    No, the benefit is for any person who is experiencing violence based on their gender,. perceived gender, or the gender they identify with. It is not specific for women only.

  • How is distribution within northern Alberta going to be ensure that rural and urban areas are equitably served?

    We recognize that gender-based violence is a concern in all regions of the province. Civida is prioritizing the distribution of the Benefit by need, across both rural and urban regions of the province. We have done research into areas of greatest need and will remain flexible in how we distribute the Benefit so that there is as much equity as possible between rural and urban areas.

  • If I am a current Civida tenant or Rent Assistance recipient, am I eligible for the Benefit?
    • Recipients of the Rent Assistance Benefit (RAB), Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit (TRAB); or tenants residing in Civida Community (Social) Housing (Rent Geared to Income/RGI) do not qualify for the GBV Benefit.
    • You may qualify to receive the GBV Benefit if you have a GBV referral and are residing in our Near Market, Mixed Income, or Market housing.

    If at any point you stop receiving RAB/TRAB or leave the community (social) housing program, you may qualify for the GBV Benefit.

  • Is transitional housing the same as social housing?

    No, transitional housing is not the same as social, or community housing. Transitional housing is supportive temporary housing that bridges a gap between homelessness and permanent housing (rental or homeownership).

    Social or Community housing is long-term rental housing offered at a deeply subsidized rate. Civida offers social/community housing.

  • Do I need to be a Canadian Citizen to be eligible?

    You must be an Alberta resident.

  • Can I re-apply for the GBV Benefit?
    • Should you choose to reapply, your application will be considered as a new entry and a new referral is required.
    • Applications for the GBV Benefit are processed in the order they are received, and acceptance is not guaranteed.
    • Additional terms beyond 1 year are not guaranteed.
    • For more information on the application process, please email [email protected]

Accessing the Benefit

Apply for the Benefit

Have a referral, or confirmed support in place? You can apply for the Benefit online.