British Columbia

Rental Assistance Program

Easy application

Tax filing required

The Rental Assistance Program provides eligible low-income working families with cash assistance to help with their monthly rent payments.

To qualify, families must have a gross household income of $40,000 or less, have at least one dependent child, and have been employed at some point over the last year.

Assistance is paid by direct deposit on the last business day of each month.

You may be eligible for the Rental Assistance Program if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • Some or all of your annual household income must come from employment.
  • You have a gross annual household income of $40,000 or less.
  • You have at least one or more dependent children. A dependent child may be an unmarried child, stepchild, adopted child or legal ward, mainly supported by the applicant, who is:
    • Under 19 years of age; or
    • Under 25 years of age and registered in full-time school, university or vocational institute which provides a recognized diploma, certificate, or degree; or
    • Of any age who, because of mental or physical infirmity, is accepted as a dependent for income tax purposes.
    • Note that: In the Housing Registry, some providers may have different criteria about what constitutes a dependent child.
  • You have less than $100,000 in assets.
  • You file an annual income tax return.
  • You pay more than 30 per cent of your household income towards rent for your home or pay pad rental for a manufactured home (trailer) that you own and occupy.
  • You have lived in British Columbia for the full 12 months immediately preceding the date of application.
  • You meet the residency requirements for the program.

You will not be eligible for the Rental Assistance Program if:

  • You or your family receive income assistance under the B.C. Employment and Assistance Act or the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act (excluding Medical Services only).
  • Your annual gross household income is over $40,000.
  • You have more than $100,000 in assets.
  • You live in subsidized housing.
  • You live in co-operative housing and are a shareholder.
  • You or a member of your family do not meet the residency requirements or came to Canada under a private sponsorship agreement that is still in force.
  • You share a kitchen and/or bathroom with the homeowner/landlord.

The Rental Assistance Program Calculator can help determine if you qualify.

Proof of birth

A document with first name, last name, and date of birth. For example:

  • Birth certificate or birth registration
  • Hospital record of birth or record of the physician/nurse/midwife who attended the birth
  • Passport
  • Record of landing or confirmation of permanent residence issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada
  • Citizenship certificate
  • Note of decision or temporary resident’s permit issued under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act
  • Certificate of Indian status card
  • Provincial identity card

Proof of housing situation

For example:

  • letter from landlord about your housing situation
  • eviction notice
  • disconnection notice
  • police report about an incident involving your housing
  • moving company quote or invoice
  • list of repairs needed in home
  • list of expenses for renovations needed for independence in the home
  • proof of home ownership (mortgage, property ownership)

Proof of legal status

A document showing citizenship or immigration status in Canada. For example:

  • citizenship certificate
  • confirmation document
  • record of landing, confirmation of permanent residence;
    • permanent resident card
    • visitor record
    • temporary resident permit
    • study permit
  • positive notice of decision
  • verification of status document
  • registration date with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
  • passport
  • foreign passport

Proof of residency in Canada

A document that displays your name and current home address and confirms that your primary place of residence is in the province or territory that is providing the benefit. For example:

  • Driver's license
  • Mortgage, rental or lease agreement
  • Child Tax Benefit Statement
  • Employer record (pay stub or letter from employer on company letterhead)
  • Income tax assessment (most recent)
  • Insurance policy (home, tenant, auto or life)
  • Monthly mailed bank account statements for savings or chequing accounts (does not include receipts, bank books, letters or automated teller receipts)
  • Mortgage, rental or lease agreement
  • Motor Vehicle Permit (plate or vehicle portions)
  • Property tax bill
  • School, college or university report card or transcript
  • Statement of Direct Deposit for social assistance or income assistance in your province or territory (for example, Disability Assistance, Hardship Assistance, Income Support, Assured Incoome, Social Solidarity, etc.)
  • Statement of Employment Insurance Benefits Paid T4E
  • Statement of Old Age Security T4A (OAS) or Statement of Canada Pension Plan Benefits T4A (P)
  • Statement of Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF), or Registered Home Ownership Savings Plan (RHOSP) from a financial institution (bank, trust company, credit union)
  • Utility bill received by mail (home telephone, cable TV, public utilities commission, hydro, gas, water)
  • Valid Provincial or Territorial Driver's Licence
  • Temporary Driver's Licence (you must also show a photo license card with the same address)
  • Workplace Safety and Insurance Board Statement of Benefits T5007
  • Canada Pension Plan Statement of Contribution
  • Valid Photo Identification

Record of Employment

This is an official form, filled out by your employer, that says how long you worked and how much you earned when you worked for that employer. When you leave your job for whatever reason, your employer must give you a Record of Employment within 5 days after your last day of employment.

Social Insurance Number

For example:

  • confirmation of SIN letter
  • plastic SIN card (non-expired)

Notice of Assessment

A statement from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to each taxpayer, every year, after you have filed a tax return. It tells you the amount of income tax you owe, or the amount of the refund you will get.

Complete an application form: There are three ways to obtain an application form for the Rental Assistance Program:

Attach supporting documents: Once you have completed an application form, the next step is to attach your supporting documents.

  • When applying for the Rental Assistance Program, you must provide photocopies not originals of documents to support your eligibility and verify the information you provide in your application.
  • For more information on required documentation, click here to download a Rental Assistance Program Application Checklist.

Submit your application: You can submit your application in the following ways:

  • Scan and Upload: Using the Program Upload Form
  • In person: Take your application package to a BC Housing office
  • By mail: Rental Assistance Program, BC Housing, 101-4555 Kingsway, Burnaby, BC V5H 4V8
  • By fax: 604-439-4729

Once your application has been processed, you will get a notification by mail.

After you apply, notify BC Housing of any changes: You must inform BC Housing immediately if:

  • You move from the address provided on your application.
  • Your rent increases.
  • Your marital status changes.
  • The number of people in your household changes.
  • IF you are sharing your accommodation with other people.

To contact BC Housing, call (604) 433-2218 or 1-800-257-7756 outside the Lower Mainland.

Last updated: March 31, 2021