Rent Assistance Benefit

Rent Assistance Benefits are paid directly to recipients to help make their rent more affordable.

Recipient households living in market rental housing in Calgary will receive a monthly benefit payment to subsidize their housing costs. Calgary Housing Company (CHC) administers the benefits that participants use to pay their landlords.

This program is administered by CHC within Calgary and Chestermere. The rules for this program are set by the government of Alberta and are governed by the Rent Supplement Regulation and the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation.

As of May 1, 2023, any inquiries for RAB in Airdrie, Cochrane, or elsewhere in the Rocky View Region should be directed to the Rocky View Foundation  at  https://www.rockyviewfoundation.org/ to learn more about the details of the program.

To Apply for RAB…

As of May 1, 2021, CHC is accepting application for the Rental Assistance Benefit (RAB) Program.

Applications for the Rental Assistance Benefit are completed and submitted on the CHC Applicant Portal – the link below will take you to the Application section of our site where you will find information on registering for the portal and completing your application as well as the link to enter the portal.

Please note: Benefits are provided after an application has been submitted and approved.
Program funding is limited – not all qualified applicants can be approved.

Frequently Asked Questions

Rent Assistance Benefit (RAB) is the name of the program formerly known as Direct Rent Supplement (DRS). It is a long-term benefit designed for low-income households whose qualifying income is below the Household Income Limits (also referred to as Income Thresholds).

The benefit amount is the difference between what would be affordable rent (30 per cent of the recipient’s total household income or the private housing core shelter rates) and the market rent for the unit, up to the maximum supplement amount. The maximum supplement amount is $900.

Rent Assistance Benefit (RAB) eligibility is based on the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation. To qualify, you must:

  • Be in core housing need.
    • living in inadequate, unsuitable, or unaffordable housing
    • income levels such that they cannot afford suitable housing in their community
    • income levels below thresholds set out by the province
  • Have a total asset value of $25,000 or less.
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident (except for those who are under a private sponsorship arrangement), convention refugee, an individual who has applied for refugee or immigration status and private sponsorship has broken down.
  • For more details on these criteria, please review our RAB Renewal and Eligibility Information Sheet.

To be eligible, recipients must live in a self-contained, rented home. This means the home has its own kitchen and bathroom and is not shared with the landlord. For example:

  • Detached housing, row/townhouse, duplex or triplex, or apartments or condos with a written tenancy agreement.
  • A basement suite or secondary suite.
  • Mobile home where the tenant has a written tenancy agreement.

The following housing types do not qualify for the Rent Assistance Benefit:

  • Hotels, motels.
  • Illegal basement/secondary suites.
  • Owned mobile homes requesting supplement for the rent of the pad.
  • Shared living accommodations with the landlord or family-owned home.
  • Housing owned by the applicant.
  • Currently living in Social Housing or receiving other rental supplements.

Benefits are provided after an application has been submitted and approved. Program funding is limited – not all qualified applicants can be approved.

Applicants who are approved into the program receive their benefits on or before the first day of each month.

The eligibility of benefit recipients will be reviewed annually.

If you remain eligible and funding is available, you will continue to receive the benefit.

Your landlord will be the individual or organization with whom you have a tenancy agreement. Calgary Housing Company (CHC) is not the landlord.

Your agreement with CHC is only for the Rental Assistance Benefit program.

Please email our office at chccustomerservice@calgary.ca or call (587) 390-1200 if you have any additional questions about the Rental Assistance Benefit (RAB) program.

Additional forms and documents

Rent Assistance Benefit (RAB) Overview – find out more about receiving a Rent Assistance Benefit.

Rent Assistance Benefit (RAB) Renewal and Eligibility– if you receive a Rent Assistance Benefit, review your responsibilities and continued eligibility requirements.

Payment Schedule

Payments for the Rent Assistance Benefit (RAB) and Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit (TRAB) are released to your bank to be available on or before the first of the month.

If you do not receive an expected payment on the first of the month, please contact your Rent Supplement Administrator as there may be an issue with your Annual Rent Review.

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