Canada Plans To Give An Extra $500 To Some Low-Income Renters, Including Students

Here's how the proposed measure would work.

Staff Writer
Montreal apartment balcony.

Montreal apartment balcony.

To address inflation and the national housing crisis, the federal government of Canada is proposing a so-called "one-time top-up" to the Canada Housing Benefit: a unique tax-free $500 payment for low-income renters.

The proposed federal initiative is currently awaiting approval in Parliament and royal assent.

If the measure passes, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) would implement an application process to deliver the money.

"For many Canadians, it is becoming increasingly challenging to find a safe and affordable place to call home, and the high cost of living is making affordable housing even less attainable for the most vulnerable Canadians," the Department of Finance Canada wrote in a press release.

To determine eligibility, the CRA would need to verify an applicant's income, age and residency status.

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This unique "top-up" will be available to families earning a net income below $35,000 who are renting a place in Canada, or $20,000 for individual renters.

Successful applicants would need to have given their consent to the CRA to carry out verifications, filed their 2021 tax return and proven that they're paying "at least" 30% of their net income on housing.

They'll also need to provide proof, including their home address and a landlord's contact information, that they're paying rent for their own primary residence in Canada.

The department estimates that 1.8 million renters would be eligible for payments under the measure if it passes.

More information on eligibility and the proposed application process is available in a September 13 news release posted online.

This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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