The term “subsidized housing” refers to any housing where the government provides monetary assistance to lower the rent. In British Columbia, the two most common forms of subsidized housing are managed by BC Housing.
The first subsidy is called SAFER, also known as the Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters. This is a cash subsidy payable at the end of the month to eligible renters that are 60+. Renters can be renting any private housing or paying pad rent for their home.
The other form of subsidized housing is referred to as the Housing Registry which is where you move into a housing facility either owned by, or under an operating agreement, with BC Housing.
To qualify for the Housing Registry, you must have a BC address in order to apply, your household income must be below a certain limit and, in general, your assets must be less than $100,000 (including real estate, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, RRSPs). You will need to provide evidence including your bank account balances and so on.
Rental fees are calculated on a rent-geared-to-income-basis: “30% of household gross income, subject to minimum rent based on # of people”. Simply put, your rent is 30% of your gross monthly income, subject to a minimum set amount.
To learn more about subsidized housing and find out which buildings in your area are part of this program, visit https://www.bchousing.org/housing-assistance/rental-housing/subsidized-housing
Please note that BC Housing has several different types of buildings including ones that cater to seniors only.
To download an application, visit https://www.bchousing.org/publications/Housing-Registry-Application-Form.pdf