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Just Ask Angie: What subsidies are available for working families?

Q: I hear there are rental subsidies for working families. Is this true?
Dad washing up while mum looks after daughter and uses laptop

Q: I hear there are rental subsidies for working families. Is this true?

A: In last week’s column I wrote about BC. Housing rental subsidies for seniors. BC Housing also has subsidies for low-income working families. It’s called RAP (the Rental Assistance Program). The monthly amount towards your rental costs you may be eligible for depends on three things: Your household (how many adults or kids in the home); your income and assets (car, investments etc.); and your location (ie. if you’re living on the Sunshine Coast vs. Lower Mainland.)

It’s worth noting that if you pay pad rental for a manufactured home or trailer that you own and occupy, you may be able to get RAP.

To qualify, families must have a) a total before-tax household income of $40,000;  b) must have been working at some point in the last year; and c) have at least one dependent child.
To see if you are eligible or to get an estimate of how much you could receive, go to the RAP webpage: Once there, partway down the page there is a greeny-turquoise oval button that says “Rental Assistance Calculator.” Click there.  If the internet is not really your thing, or you need help doing this for whatever reason, we at the resource centre can do this over the phone with you, or in-person, no problemo.

If you are someone who feels intimidated by the paperwork or any other part of what it would take to get this subsidy going, the Resource Centre can help you through this! It’s one reason we are here.

Q: Do you know there is cheap internet for low-income families?

A: On the topic of subsidies, there is a program called “Telus Internet for Good for Students” I recently learned about. Looking at the Telus fact sheet I have in front of me, qualifying families could apply to get $10 to 20 internet, with unlimited monthly data. The offer would be good for two years only and there are no contract or cancellation fees.

If you have a Canada Child Benefit (CCB) statement showing a net income of less than or equal to $31,120, you can email Telus directly at [email protected] with a copy of your statement to get the ball rolling.

If your family could use this, but don’t meet the above criteria, reach out to your child’s teacher or school principal and express your need. The principal will then email Telus requesting a code for your family.

Once families get a code either from Telus directly, or from your school principal/teacher, you can call Telus at 1-866-835-8744 to take advantage of Internet for Good for Students offer.

Notably, there is also an option, through this program, to buy a low-cost refurbished computer. I am not sure the pricing, but if you are emailing Telus directly, or going through the school principal, ask them for more info.

If you are trying to raise a family, struggling financially or otherwise, and aren’t sure where to start, consider booking an appointment with us. We can look into any eligible funding or benefits out there, or whatever else may be available to help.

Angie Theilmann is an information and referral specialist at the Sunshine Coast Resource Centre, your community information hub. The Resource Centre is open Monday to Thursday 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Appointments are recommended to be sure we are available to help you. Contact us: [email protected] or 604-885-4088.