Have questions about rent assistance?

See some of the most common questions we receive about the Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit (TRAB) and the Rent Assistance Benefit (RAB) programs below. If this information doesn’t answer your question, contact our Customer Success team at [email protected] or 780-420-6161.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT TRAB

The Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit provides a modest benefit for working households with low income or those between jobs.

  • How much is TRAB?

    The rent assistance amount is based on a flat rate that varies based on household size and municipality. It is for working households with low income or those between jobs. The amount does not vary based on income like in other rent assistance programs.

    TRAB rates will be calculated annually based on the budget available by the government of Alberta. The rate will be posted here: https://open.alberta.ca/publications/temporary-rent-assistance-benefit-rates#summary. The minimum TRAB rate is $100.

  • Who is eligible?

    Just like other housing programs, you must meet certain criteria that is set out in the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation to be eligible for TRAB. You must:

    • Be in core housing need.
    • Have a total asset value of $25,000 or less.
    • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident (except for those who are under a private sponsorship arrangement), convention refugee, an individual who has applied for refugee or immigration status and private sponsorship has broken down.

    You can read more details about those criteria by reviewing our Eligibility Information Sheet.

    There are a few extra criteria for TRAB. Those criteria are:

    • Households must currently be employed or have worked in the past 24 months (2 years) at the time of application. Acceptable forms of income for those who have worked in the past 24 months but may now be unemployed include:
      • Employment Insurance, Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB), and the Canada Recovery Benefit are eligible.

    Civida administers RAB and TRAB to the following communities:

    Edmonton, Holden, Josephburgh, Riley, Smoky Lake, Tofield, Vegreville and Waskatenau.

  • Who is not eligible?

    You are not eligible for TRAB if:

    • You or anyone in the household are receiving social assistance including Income Support, Learner Income Support, Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped, Alberta Seniors Benefit, Guaranteed Income Supplement or Old Age Security.
    • You already receive rental assistance such as RAB (formerly DRS) or are living in social housing.
  • How do I apply?

    You can apply online using the Civida Benefit Portal.  You must give Civida your banking information so direct deposit payments can be set up.

  • When will I get the benefit?

    Applications are based on a first-come-first-served priority. Civida will work through applications to ensure applicants are eligible and living in appropriate housing.

  • What does receiving TRAB mean?

    TRAB is a two-year program. For the first year you will get the full benefit amount. You will receive TRAB for a second year at a reduced rate but never less than $100 a month.

    If you start getting housing support through another social housing program, you can no longer receive TRAB.

    After two years TRAB ends. If you still need assistance you can reapply for TRAB. Your application will be processed in the order it was received.

    Upon being placed in the TRAB program, you must provide your social insurance number as this is a taxable benefit. Civida will send you a T5 in February every year for the previous year.

    You must also provide direct deposit information for TRAB to be deposited into your bank account on a monthly basis.

  • Who is my landlord?

    Your landlord will be the individual or organization with whom you have a tenancy agreement. Civida is not the landlord. Your agreement with Civida is just for the rental assistance benefit.

  • I have more questions!

    Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any more questions about TRAB.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT RAB

Rent Assistance Benefits are subsidies paid directly to Civida benefit recipients to help make their rent with a private landlord more affordable.

  • What is RAB?

    Rent Assistance Benefit (RAB) is the name of the program previously known as the Direct Rent Supplement (DRS) program. It is designed for households in core housing need who have low incomes and ongoing need.

    All RAB recipients must sign an agreement with Civida before receiving the benefit.

  • How much is RAB?

    The benefit amount is the difference between what would be affordable rent (30 per cent of the recipient’s total household income or the private housing core shelter rates) and the market rent for the unit, up to the maximum supplement amounts.

    Just like with DRS, the maximum rent assistance benefits are based off of the number of bedrooms the household requires:

    • $700 for a household who requires a bachelor or 1 bedroom
    • $800 for a household who requires a 2 bedroom
    • $900 for a household who requires a 3 bedroom
    • $900 for a household who requires 4 or more-bedrooms.
  • Who is eligible?

    You must meet all eligibility criteria under the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation. This means you must:

    • Be in core housing need.
    • Have a total asset value of $25,000 or less.
    • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident (except for those who are under a private sponsorship arrangement), convention refugee, an individual who has applied for refugee or immigration status and private sponsorship has broken down.

    For more details on these criteria, please review our Eligibility Information Sheet.

    Recipients must also live in eligible housing to receive the benefit. Eligible housing is a self-contained, rented home. This means the home has its own kitchen and bathroom and is not shared with the landlord. A recipient could live in:

    • A basement suite or secondary suite as long as it has been approved by the municipality in which it is located.
    • Co-operatives with a  written co-operative agreement.
    • Mobile home where the tenant is renting both the mobile home and the pad with a written tenancy agreement.
    • Detached housing, row/townhouse, duplex or triplex, or apartments or condos with a written tenancy agreement.
  • Who is not eligible?

    Anyone is eligible if they meet the above criteria, however, the below types of housing are not suitable for the rent assistance benefit:

    • Hotels, motels, and vacation rental by owner (VRBO) arrangements.
    • Illegal basement/secondary suites.
    • Owned mobile homes requesting supplement for the rent of the pad.
    • Shared living accommodations with the landlord.
    • Housing owned by the applicant.

    You are not eligible for RAB if you are living in community housing.

  • How do I apply?

    You can apply online using our Civida Benefit Portal. You must give Civida your banking information so direct deposit payments can be set up.

  • When will I get the benefit?

    RAB will be offered on a point-based scoring system. Civida will offer benefits to applicants with the highest point score in the community they are applying for as funding is available.

  • Upcoming payment dates

    Rent Assistance payments will be deposited before the first of the month.

  • What does receiving RAB mean?

    Your eligibility will be assessed every year. If you remain eligible and funding is available, you will continue to receive the benefit. There is no limit to number of times your RAB agreement can be renewed, subject to funding availability.

  • Who is my landlord?

    Your landlord will be the individual or organization with whom you have a tenancy agreement. Civida is not the landlord. Your agreement with Civida is just for the rental assistance benefit.

  • I have more questions!

    Please contact us at [email protected] if you have any more questions about RAB.