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

Recipient households live in private rental homes and receive a monthly benefit amount to help make their rent more affordable. Civida is not the landlord in this program.

This program is administered within Edmonton and surrounding communities. The Rent Assistance Benefit (RAB) program is governed by the Rent Supplement Regulation and the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation. This means some of our rules are set by the Alberta government.


  • What is RAB?

    Rent Assistance Benefit (RAB) is the new name of the program currently 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:

    • $500 for a household who requires a bachelor or 1 bedroom
    • $600 for a household who requires a 2 bedroom
    • $700 for a household who requires a 3 bedroom
    • $800 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 Applicant 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 for Rent Assistance Benefits

    Rent Assistance Benefit payments will continue to be paid on the 5th business day before the end of the month. Upcoming payments for monthly subsidies will be released from our bank (RBC) on the dates below. Payments will only be given through direct deposit.

    January 25, 2023 | February 22, 2023 | March 27, 2023 | April 24, 2023 | May 25, 2023 | June 26, 2023

  • 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 our office if you have any more questions about RAB.

Additional forms and documents