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Rental subsidies going up for low-income families, seniors next month

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Summary

The average monthly payments for seniors in the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters program will go up to $265 from $187

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Seniors and people with low incomes could soon be seeing some relief in covering their housing costs.

Monthly rent subsidies are going up for seniors and low-income families living in market housing for two B.C. Housing programs starting in September. More than 35,000 B.C. households will be affected by the changes, according to a statement by provincial government Thursday.

The average monthly payments for seniors in the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters program will go up to $265 from $187. For low-income families, the average amount will be $472 instead of $405 a month.

More families will be also be eligible for rental assistance; families making up to $40,000 can now be part of the program.

Housing minister Selina Robinson said in a press release she hopes the changes will help give these people some peace of mind.

“They worry each month about how to pay their rent, feed their families and meet their needs,” she said. “With this change, we are making housing more affordable for low-income families and seniors in communities throughout the province.”

Kara-Leigh Bloch of the Seniors Services Society said that seniors could benefit from the extra financial help.

“Many of the seniors we work with are having a tough time making ends meet,” she said. “The increase to SAFER subsidies is great news for seniors on a fixed income across the province who have been struggling to pay their rent.”

You can get an idea about what the new payments will look like with B.C. Housing’s rental assistance calculator.