July 23rd, 2024

COVID grant fund available to homeowners, renters

By Tim Kalinowski on February 4, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

Homeowners and renters financially impacted by COVID-19 will now have some support available through the City of Lethbridge’s COVID-19 Housing Supplement Program.
The $500,000 grant fund will pay up to $2,000 in the form of a one-time supplement to support the housing needs of those who have been unduly affected by COVID-19. To be eligible for the fund, you must have been a resident of the City of Lethbridge for at least the last six months and have a family income which falls below the Core Need Income Threshold.
The grants are being administered by the Lethbridge Housing Authority (LHA) on behalf of the City.
“We’re excited to be able to partner with the City to deliver money to those in need in our community,” said LHA CAO Robin James.
“We hope to be able to target people that we don’t usually serve through our regular programming dollars by the delivery of this money.”
James went on to say the main criteria used to access this new funding is the applicants cannot be recipients of any other housing and rent support programs currently administered by the LHA, and must be able to demonstrate a serious loss of income as a direct result of COVID-19.
“This $500,000 requires a change in income due to COVID,” she confirmed. “So we are hoping it will be able to target our Lethbridge community of individuals that have become financially insecure due to COVID. So our (restaurant) serving staff, estheticians, hairdressers – all those people affected due to a lockdown and their employment income has changed.
“It just gives people that little bit of a hand up while they are waiting to get back to work.”
To view more details on the City of Lethbridge’s COVID-19 Housing Supplement Program, and to view eligibility criteria, visit https://lethbridgehousing.ca/rent-supplement-application/
One a side note, James said the Lethbridge Housing Authority would also begin accepting rent supplement applications again under its regular program banner for those with a more long term and acute need after July 1.
The federal and provincial governments had been locked in a dispute over the high cost of the buy in for the new federally administered Reaching Home program since the end of 2019, which led to the Government of Alberta putting a freeze on funding for new rent supplement applications in Lethbridge and elsewhere.
James said she does not know many details yet, but has been given notice the province will relaunch the program in July. James is hopeful there will be funding for new applications available again immediately after that relaunch date.
“We actually didn’t do any application processes at all for rent supplement (last year),” she stated. “It is a relief to have that situation resolved, and we will be excited to be able to get that program rolling again in our community.”

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