Rent Supplement Program still available to tenants

By Patrick Kolafa
The Drumheller Mail
www.drumhellermail.com

    While it seems the housing market in Alberta has cooled, there is no sign the Government of Alberta plans to change the direct to rent supplement program, says Jackie Trentham administrator of the Drumheller Housing Administration.
    The program, which started in 2007, has seen strong participation in Drumheller. According to the Housing Administration, there are over 100 families in the Drumheller - Three Hills area taking advantage of the program.
    “As far as we know there are no plans to stop it,” said Trentham.
    The program provides assistance to households in need by subsidizing rent. They will pay directly to an eligible tenant to assist with rental costs to subsidize the difference between a negotiated market rent and 30 per cent of the household’s adjusted income.
    This means the tenant is only expected to contribute about one-third of their household income to shelter.
    Those wanting to take advantage of the program can still do so by applying through the Drumheller Housing Administration.
    Trentham explains there is a points system to gauge the applicant’s need, and the cost of housing.
    “Basically it is 30 per cent of your household income and the current market rent, or what you are paying whichever is lower,” she said.
    She says there continues to bee a strong demand for affordable housing in the valley.
    “It is going to be better once the new affordable housing building is up and running, it is going to help the waiting list a lot,” said Trentham, “but there is still a large number of people in need.”

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