British Columbia

Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER)

Easy application

Tax filing required

You do not need to apply for this benefit, but you need to file your tax return to get it.

The government will use the information in your tax return to decide if you will get the benefit.

The Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) program helps make rents affordable for BC seniors with low to moderate incomes. SAFER gives monthly cash payments to subsidize rents for eligible BC residents who are age 60 or over.You can find out how much you could get using the SAFER Calculator.

To be eligible you must meet all of the following conditions:

  • You are age 60 or older.

  • You lived in BC the full, 12-month period before submitting your application.

  • You, and your spouse you share a home with, meet one of the following Canadian citizenship requirements:

    • Individuals with private sponsorship that has broken down
    • People who applied for refugee status
    • Individuals legally in Canada as permanent residents, not under sponsorship
    • Canadian citizens not under sponsorship
  • You pay more than 30% of your gross, before tax, monthly household income towards the rent for your home. If you live in a trailer, this includes pad rental (manufactured home) that you own and live in.

You are not be eligible if any of following are true:

  • You live in subsidized housing or a residential care facility funded by the Ministry of Health.
  • You live in co-operative housing and are a shareholder.
  • You or your family receive income assistance through the B.C. Employment and Assistance Act or the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act (excluding Medical Services only).
  • Your gross monthly is over a certain amount, depending on your living situation (usually $2,446-$2,750). Check the amounts for your situation by reading the section "Am I eligible?" on the SAFER website.

Proof of birth

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

  • 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 legal status

A document showing citizenship or immigration status in Canada

  • 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

  • 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

Proof of  residency in Province

  • lease agreement
  • rent receipt
  • household bill
    • gas
    • electricity
    • cable television
    • telephone
  • driver's license
  • vehicle registration or car insurance
  • membership in social or professional organization
  • Other:
    • bank information
    • employment information

Proof of housing situation

  • 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)

Social Insurance Number

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

Notice of Assessment

An 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.

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.

Download and complete application form:

  • There are two ways to get an application form from SAFER:
  1. Online: Download the SAFER Application Form, or
  2. By mail: Request a paper copy of the application form by calling 604-433-2218 or 1-800-257-7756.
  • You will need proof of income, proof of age, proof of rent, and your bank information in your appliction.

Last updated: May 10, 2022