Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit

What is the TRAB Program and how can it help me and/or my family?

TRAB provides a modest subsidy for working households with low income or those between jobs. Support is intended to help eligible tenants afford their rent while they stabilize or improve their situation. Recipient households live in rental housing and receive a monthly benefit amount for up to two years to help make their rent more affordable. 

You can apply for the TRAB program through Heartland Housing Foundation if you hold a lease in Strathcona County or Fort Saskatchewan. Call 211 to find out who your local service delivery agent is if you live outside of our service area.

For full details on eligibility, including eligible dwelling types, household compositions, and more, scroll and click on the FAQs below.

Our office hours are by appointment only. To make an appointment, email us at applications@heartlandhousing.ca

_______________________________________________________________________________

Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit FAQS (click to expand)

WHAT IS TRAB?

The Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit (TRAB) is a provincial program designed for households who are unemployed or having a hard time making ends meet. The Temporary Rent Assistance Benefit (TRAB) is a benefit paid directly to recipients to help make their rent with a private landlord more affordable. Heartland Housing Foundation is the local delivery agent (Fort Saskatchewan and Strathcona County) for the program and is not the landlord in this program.

All TRAB recipients must sign an agreement with Heartland Housing Foundation before receiving the benefit.

HOW MUCH IS TRAB?

The benefit amount is calculated based on household size and location and automatically reduces in the second year of the agreement.

Rates below are subject to change. To verify the most current amounts, visit Open Alberta

Year One

Unit Type Bachelor 1-Bedroom 2-Bedroom 3-Bedroom 4-Bedroom
Monthly Benefit Amount $167 $198 $243 $302 $322

Year Two

Unit Type Bachelor 1-Bedroom 2-Bedroom 3-Bedroom 4-Bedroom
Monthly Benefit Amount $134 $158 $194 $242 $258

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

You must meet all eligibility criteria below, including requirements under the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation. This means your household must:

  • Be currently employed or have been employed at some point during the last 24 months.
  • Receive no social assistance payments (i.e. Income Support, Learner Income Support, AISH, Alberta Seniors Benefit, Guaranteed Income Supplement, Canada Pension, Rent Assistance Benefit, etc.).
    • Individuals receiving Employment Insurance (EI) are eligible.
  • Be in core housing need.
  • Have a total asset value of $25,000 or less.
  • Be a Canadian citizen, permanent resident (except for those who are under a private sponsorship arrangement), convention refugee, an individual who has applied for refugee or immigration status and private sponsorship has broken down.

IMPORTANT: Households that are in receipt of social assistance including Income Support, Learner Income Support, Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped, Alberta Seniors Benefit, Guaranteed Income Supplement or Old Age Security are not eligible for TRAB.

Recipients must also live in eligible housing to receive the benefit. Eligible housing is a self-contained, rented home. This means the home has its own kitchen and bathroom and is not shared with the landlord. A recipient could live in:

  • A basement suite or secondary suite as long as it has been approved by the municipality in which it is located.
  • Co-operatives with a written co-operative agreement.
  • Mobile home where the tenant is renting both the mobile home and the pad with a written tenancy agreement.
  • Detached housing, row/townhouse, duplex or triplex, or apartments or condos with a written tenancy agreement.

WHAT IS CONSIDERED AN ASSET AND HOW DOES THIS IMPACT MY ELIGIBILITY?

  • A household cannot hold over $25,000 in eligible assets as defined by the Social Housing Accommodation Regulation.
  • One personal non-recreational vehicle is exempt from the asset limit, but a second would not be exempt unless it is used for work purposes. 

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE CORE HOUSING NEED?

A household is in core housing need if:

  • Suitable accommodation costs more than 30% of the household’s total income on rent, and
  • The household has a total annual income below the income threshold for a given municipality.

Maximum Applicant Household Composition Examples

1 adult

2 adults

1 or 2 adults & up to 2 dependents

1 or 2 adults & up to 3 dependents

1 or 2 adults & 4 or more dependents

Maximum Income

$37,000

$44,000

$54,000

$67,000

$71,500

 

WHAT IS CONSIDERED A HOUSEHOLD?

A household is defined to include the following:

  • The spouse, common-law, or adult interdependent partner
  • Dependent(s) – A dependent includes a member of the household who is not self-supporting. A dependent is an individual under 25 years of age and related by blood, marriage, or adoption to another member of the household, or by virtue of an adult interdependent relationship.
  • Adults co-applying for housing who are none of the above

WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE?

Households that are in receipt of social assistance including Income Support, Learner Income Support, Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped, Alberta Seniors Benefit, Guaranteed Income Supplement or Old Age Security are not eligible for TRAB. Applicants also have to be currently employed or have been employed at some point during the last 24 months.

Anyone is eligible if they meet the above criteria, however, the types of housing listed below are not suitable for the rent assistance benefit:

  • Hotels, motels, and vacation rental by owner (VRBO) arrangements.
  • Illegal basement/secondary suites.
  • Owned mobile homes requesting supplement for the rent of the pad.
  • Shared living accommodations with the landlord (your landlord is your roommate).
  • Housing owned by the applicant.

HOW ARE APPLICATIONS EVALUATED?

Applications are evaluated first by eligibility (see previous question) and then added to a chronological first-come-first-serve waiting list.

HOW DO I APPLY?

Click here to go to our online application portal, or scroll to the Application section on this page for more details.

DOES BEING AN ELIGIBLE APPLICANT GUARANTEE I WILL RECEIVE A BENEFIT?

No. Eligible applicants will be placed on a chronological waitlist. When funding for benefits is made available, the eligible applicants next in line on our waitlist will be the first to be contacted for next steps.

WHEN WILL I GET THE BENEFIT?

TRAB will be offered on a first-come-first-serve system. Heartland Housing Foundation will offer benefits to applicants next in line on the waitlist as funding is available. You must give Heartland Housing Foundation your banking information so direct deposit payments can be set up.

WHAT DOES RECEIVING TRAB MEAN?

There is a two-year cap on the temporary benefit and your eligibility is reassessed after the first year. Households can re-apply for rent assistance at the end of two years.

WHO IS MY LANDLORD?

Your landlord will be the individual or organization with whom you have a tenancy agreement. Heartland Housing Foundation is not the landlord. Your agreement with Heartland Housing Foundation is just for the temporary rental assistance benefit.

I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS!

Please contact our office if you have any more questions about TRAB. 

Email: applications@heartlandhousing.ca
Phone: (780) 400-3500 

_______________________________________________________________________________

Applying for TRAB

Please ensure your application is complete. Incomplete applications will result in processing delays. 

Eligible applicants will be contacted for an interview. 

TRAB is offered on a first-come-first-serve basis with a chronological waitlist.

If you currently live in Fort Saskatchewan or Strathcona County click "Apply for TRAB" below to enter our application portal.  Call 211 to find out who your local service delivery agent is if you live outside of our service area.

Apply for TRAB

If you are unable to apply using our online portal, paper application materials can be found in the "Resources and Downloads" section below. 

_______________________________________________________________________________

Please contact our office if you have any more questions about TRAB or if you need to make an appointment regarding your application. 

Email: applications@heartlandhousing.ca
Phone: (780) 400-3500