Tikva Housing Rent Subsidy Program
In 2011, Tikva Housing Society established the “Rent Subsidy Program” to provide eligible low-income singles and families with cash assistance towards their monthly rent, within available funding. The maximum subsidy provided is $400/month for singles and couples, and $600/month for families.
The program is highly valued in the Jewish community. People are helped promptly. Applicants are interviewed, they provide proof of income and a copy of their rental lease agreement. Through a point score system, higher need applicants are selected. There are fluctuations among recipients, people move, incomes change, and the program is able to adapt to these.
The Tikva Housing Rent Subsidy program receives an annual grant from the Ben & Esther Dayson Charitable Foundation. This generous contribution is augmented by other donors who contribute as little as $18 up to $20,000 and more. For the 2019/20 year, funding received from private donors, amounted to $180,000.
To make a financial contribution to the Tikva Housing Rent Subsidy Program, click here.
Sept 1 – August 31, 2020 Reporting Period
A total of 125 recipients were subsidized during this reporting period. 32 of these were new agreement.
As of August 31, 2020 there were 24 rent subsidy agreements in place, including subsidies for 13 singles, one couple and 10 families (15 parents & 24 children). There were also 17 short-term recipients whose agreements started and ended between September and August.
A total of 22 subsidies ended between September and August:
- 5 were eligible for government subsidy (SAFER/RAP) or subsidized housing
- 7 were ineligible due to increased income
- 6 no longer qualified
- 2 moved out of area/other
- 2 ended for other reasons
This reflects the true bridging function while people acquire more permanent solutions.
Those whose subsidies ended were in the program for different lengths of time:
- 98 % (19) – 1-12 months
- 1 % (1) – 13-24 months
- 1 % (2) – 25+ months
Jo was a rent subsidy recipient 2 years ago, and once he secured stable employment at YVR, he no longer needed our support. In the 2 years since Jo started his job he also got married and had a child. He has been working to bring them to Canada. In anticipation of his family’s arrival, Jo secured a 2 bedroom apartment. However, the immigration process is taking longer than expected due to COVID. Jo was also laid off from his job due to COVID. He has been living on CERB and the BC-TRS (Temporary Rent Subsidy) for the past few months. Nevertheless, both programs ended recently, and Jo is still unemployed so once again, Jo turned to Tikva for help.
Sara is a single mom who gave birth to her 3rd child prior to COVID and was on maternity leave. She planned to go back to work after her maternity leave ended, but her workplace could not hire her back due to shortness of work because of COVID. She collected CERB and BC-TRS until the programs ended in September and now, she is struggling to make ends meet. She is unable to secure affordable childcare. Sara has 2 other school aged children and has no family support. She turned to us for temporary help until her employer will hire her back, or until she is able to find another job and/or reasonably priced accommodation.
While the statistics above show how well utilized the program has been, it doesn’t reflect the human stories of those who have been helped. It doesn’t tell the story of the families who are helped to keep their housing so their children are not moved away from friends and schools. It does not tell the story of elderly recipients who are paying over 50% of their income toward rent and need some bridging help until they turn 60 and are eligible for a government housing subsidy. It does not tell the story of the young person with no family support who is struggling to get ahead by getting an education and living on entry-level wages to support themselves.
The one common thread is that having safe, secure and affordable housing provides people the foundation needed to get on with their lives. Recipients of this funding are incredibly appreciative of the help which bridges them to eligibility for other assistance, allows them to recover from an injury or illness and return to work or to complete a school program and get a better paying job.
For further information, please fill out the form below:
To assist us in understanding your needs, please specify the following:
- City of Residence
- Employment Location
- Family Composition