Rent, security deposit and utilities

Affordable GAP rental housing

Rental payments for affordable GAP rental housing are set between 10 and 20 percent below market rates based upon assessments made by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation in the previous calendar year.  As much as possible, because WBHDC is a not-for-profit municipal subsidiary, we set rents on a cost-recovery basis.

New tenants must provide employment and financial information that can be confirmed to determine that they are eligible to rent an affordable GAP rental unit.  Income thresholds apply.  That is, your combined household income must be below a specific threshold related to the number of people in your household to qualify for affordable GAP housing.  If your income is too high, WBHDC will refer you to market-priced housing.

Should you qualify, then you will enter into a one-year lease with WBHDC at a fixed rent until lease renewal.  Rent for apartment units includes heat, water and sewer costs; tenants pay for electricity, phone and, if desired, cable and Internet service.  Rent for townhouses includes heat, water and sewer, with an additional $50 monthly charge for water; tenants pay for electricity, phone and, if desired, cable and Internet service.

Social housing

Eligibility for social housing is based on a point system.  To qualify for social housing, your income must be insufficient for you to afford either market-priced or affordable GAP rental accommodations.  Social housing programs are funded by the Government of Alberta and administered in Wood Buffalo by WBHDC, which is a designated housing management body.

Rental payments for social housing are calculated using the rules of the Alberta Housing Act.  Rent includes heat, water and sewer, and is 30 percent of household income.  Tenants pay for electricity, phone and, if desired, cable and Internet service.

Social housing clients may occupy rental accommodations specifically built for social housing or they may receive rent subsidies that enable them to pay the rent elsewhere.

Alberta Housing Act

Security deposit

Your security deposit is equivalent to the first month’s rent and must be paid before you move in to your unit. The security deposit is place in a trust account until you move out.  Deposit interest is compounded annually and paid out at the end of the lease agreement.   Interest rates are set January 1 of each year and apply for the entire year.

WBHDC may deduct money from the security deposit if, at the conclusion of your tenancy, you are deemed liable for any of the following: rent arrears, cost of repairs for damage, and the cost of cleaning the unit beyond normal wear and tear.

The Security Deposit Interest Rate Regulation includes a formula that sets the yearly interest rate at three percent below the interest rate on November 1st of the previous year for cashable one-year guaranteed investment certificates from ATB Financial.

Security Deposit Interest Rate Regulation

Rent is due on the first business day of every month

Rental payments due and payable, in full, on or before the first business day of each month.  You have the option of paying your rent either by direct debit arranged with your banking institution or by dropping off your rent payment during regular office hours at either the Stony Mountain Plaza Property Administration Office if you live in Timberlea or the Haxton Building Applications Office if you live in Edgewater Court in the lower townsite.

If your income changes

Sometimes your income may change in the middle of your lease term. A mid-year change in income does not affect affordable GAP housing tenants – your rent is fixed for the duration of the year-long lease.

Social housing tenants and rent subsidy recipients must complete a Change of Information form to inform WBHDC of changes to household income, either up or down, that occur during the year.  You must submit your Change of Information form along with suitable proof of the changes(s) to your site Property Administrator by the last day of the month in which the change of income or family composition occurred.

If the documentation is sufficient and warrants a change in rental payments, WBHDC will issue a written confirmation of the new rent.

You may download the Change of Information form by clicking on the link below.

Change of Information form

If the number of tenants in your unit changes

Social housing tenants and rent subsidy recipients should advise WBHDC if the total number of tenants in your unit changes by completing a Change of Information form.  Your rent could be adjusted if someone moves in or moves out. If the documentation is sufficient and warrants a change in rental payments, WBHDC will issue a written confirmation of the new rent.

You may download the Change of Information form by clicking on the link below.

Change of Information form

From time-to-time tenants, may find themselves living in a unit with more bedrooms than required for the size of their family.  This occurs, for example, when adult children move away from home.  In such circumstances, what WBHDC calls “over-housed,” WBHDC is likely to ask that you transfer to a more suitably sized unit, especially when affordable housing is in scarce supply.

Utilities

Tenants are responsible to pay for electricity, phone and, if desired, cable and Internet service.  Rent for townhouses includes an additional $50 monthly charge for water. All WBHDC buildings are connected to Shaw and Telus for cable and Internet services.