Rent bank

What’s a rent bank?

Finding a new place to live can be TRYING but there is a glimmer of hope! What if I told you there are rent banks which act as assistance programs for renters that offer financial assistance to help secure the best possible home?

There are a few of them, actually:

For families & individuals

1. The Fraser Valley Rent Assistance Project has a rent bank which provides a “one-time” emergency loans for families and individuals who are “at risk of losing their homes.” The program is set up by The Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), and covers security and utility deposits and arrears, and rent with a maximum loan repayment period of 24 months. Those who qualify for the rent assistance loans can also learn about money management.

2. Sources Community Resource Centres are a Surrey-based, non-profit agency that helps people in White Rock, Surrey, Langley, Delta and Prince George. Through them, the Sources Rent Bank Loan Program offers short-term funding for families and individuals at risk of eviction (in Surrey, White Rock and Delta) because they are unable to pay their rent, utilities, damage deposits or related financial obligations. Lower income earners can also access tools at these centres to help develop better personal finance skills.

3. The provincial government (through its BC Housing division), offers a Rental Assistance Program to provide a cash subsidy to low or moderate-income working families who rent from private property owners. Only the person getting this subsidy knows about the assistance, which is also portable. This means that if a recipient finds another place to live the subsidy goes with them.

For seniors

The Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) is a BC Housing offering, similar to the Rental Assistance Program. SAFER is a direct cash assistance benefit aimed at low-income British Columbians who are 60 or over who rent in the private sector.

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