Social housing – Fort McMurray

There is a portion of Wood Buffalo’s population who are unable to maintain a steady income due to disability, chronic illness or other impediments.  WBHDC believes all citizens deserve access to safe, secure housing – among the most fundamental needs for all people.  As a provincially designated Housing Management Body, WBHDC administers a number of social housing projects on behalf of the Government of Alberta (sometimes known as community housing), as well as rent supplement programs for qualifying individuals and families.

Social housing is provided at rental rates generally calculated as a fixed percentage of income, which ensures housing costs do not deplete earnings.  Provincial government funding for rent subsidies enables WBHDC to offer social housing at less than its cost to operate.  Rent supplement recipients may also occupy WBHDC GAP rental apartments or even market rate apartments in the community; the rent supplement helps to make up the difference between the cost of rent and the client’s ability to pay that rent.

Eligibility for social housing is based on a points 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; 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.

The Alberta Housing Act may be viewed online at the website of the Alberta Queen’s Printer by clicking on the link below.

Alberta Housing Act

An applicant’s eligibility is determined in consultation with WBHDC in person at its Applications Office.  Once an applicant’s eligibility is confirmed, he or she will be given a Social Housing Application form or Direct Rent Subsidy Application form.  If social housing units or rent subsidy funding are currently available, the applicant will be placed; otherwise, he or she will be put on a wait list.

Applications Office
Suite 203, 10020 Franklin Avenue
Fort McMurray, AB   T9H 2K6
Phone: (780) 743-4140
Toll-free in Wood Buffalo: 1-888-799-4050
Fax: (780) 715-1547
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon; 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information about affordable GAP rental housing in Conklin and Janvier, or social housing in Fort Chipewyan, contact our Applications Office by telephone.

WBHDC also offers support services to help social housing clients reduce their reliance upon social assistance through substance abuse programs, job skills training, and other means that address impediments to independence.

Eligibility

Maximum annual household income thresholds are in place for each available rental unit in the social housing program.  These thresholds are set for the calendar year and are reviewed anually.

Tenants must be a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant and have lived in the Wood Buffalo region for at least three months. Not including personal effects, net worth cannot exceed $7,000. Tenants are permitted to own one vehicle, the value of which cannot exceed $4,000.

Tenants who qualify for social housing must complete an Annual Income Review form every year, which ensures the tenant still qualifies for subsidized housing and to determine the following year’s rent.  The form is mailed to tenants approximately four months before their anniversary date but can also be downloaded below.  If a tenant’s gross monthly income changes, in which case rent might be lowered, or someone moves in or out of the unit, then rent will be recalculated based on the new circumstances.  The Change of Information form can be downloaded below.

Annual Income Review form

Change of Information form

For more information about social housing, contact our Applications Office.

Applications Office
Suite 203, 10020 Franklin Avenue
Fort McMurray, AB   T9H 2K6
Phone: (780) 743-4140
Toll-free in Wood Buffalo: 1-888-799-4050
Fax: (780) 715-1547
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon; 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Social housing – Fort McMurray portfolio

Social housing – Fort McMurray Built Units Program Details Vacancy
Centennial Drive Fourplex n/a 4 Social 4 rental apartments No
Centennial House n/a 6 Social 6 rental apartments No
Heritage Glen n/a 5 Social 5 rental townhouses No

The Southridge Complex, no longer listed, comprised 32 rental three- and four-bedroom townhouses in Beacon Hill that were destroyed by the 2016 wildfire. Southridge tenants were re-housed in vacant WBHDC units.