Thursday, February 2, 2023
HomeCANADALower-income renters in Canada can now apply for a one-time $500 top-up...

Lower-income renters in Canada can now apply for a one-time $500 top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit

For many Canadians, rising inflation and the high cost of living have made it even more challenging to find a safe and affordable place to call home. Renter households are four times more likely to experience core housing needs than homeowners. That is why the Government of Canada has taken concrete action to help renters who need it most. 

The Honourable Diane Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue, and the Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Housing and Diversity and Inclusion, are taking action and announcing that applications for the new one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit are now open. This benefit is a one-time payment of $500 to eligible lower-income renters experiencing housing affordability challenges.

Canadians must meet all the following conditions to be eligible for the new benefit:

  • have filed a 2021 tax return;
  • be at least 15 years of age as of December 1, 2022;
  • be a resident in Canada in 2022 for tax purposes;
  • have an adjusted family net income of $20,000 or less for individuals, or $35,000 or less for families;
  • have paid at least 30% of their 2021 adjusted family net income on rent for their principal residence in the 2022 calendar year; and
  • be able to provide their 2022 address(es) and landlord’s contact information.

Eligible applicants can quickly and easily apply for the one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit through their Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) My Account. If applicants are registering for My Account for the first time, they will not need to wait for their security code in the mail; they can still access limited services in My Account and apply for this benefit immediately. Those who apply online and are signed up for direct deposit could receive their one-time top-up within five business days.

Applicants who need to update their address, marital status or direct deposit information, are encouraged to apply through CRA My Account. Applicants who do not have My Account and do not need to update their personal or banking information, can also apply online using a web form. Those who are unable to apply online can call the CRA’s new dedicated phone line at 1-800-282-8079 to complete their application with an agent.

Eligible Canadians will need to retain receipts or documentation for six years to support their application in case the CRA contacts them to validate eligibility. Applicants that are found to be ineligible for the benefit during the verification processes will be required to repay the benefit they received. 

By delivering targeted financial support to those who need it most, the one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit represents just one of the many ways that the Government of Canada is working to make life more affordable for Canadians. Targeted measures, such as doubling the GST credit and creating the Canada Dental Benefit have also helped Canadian families with the cost-of-living this year.

Today also marks the opening of the application portal for the Projects Stream of the Rapid Housing Initiative. The portal is available on the website of Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

The application window will be open for approximately 90 days (December 12, 2022, to March 15, 2023). Eligible applicants for this stream include provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous governing bodies and organizations, and non-profit organizations. 

The Rapid Housing Initiative has continually exceeded its targets to rapidly produce new, permanent affordable homes. The Government of Canada recently announced a new investment of $1.5 billion dollars over two years for a third round of the program, of which $1 billion is available through the Projects Stream. This round is expected to yield 4,500 additional homes for those who need them most. 

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