Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit

In March 2020, as part of the province’s efforts to ensure Islanders do not lose their home during COVID-19 pandemic, Social Development and Housing launched this program. This benefit will provide temporary rental assistance to renters who are struggling to pay their rent as a result of income loss or reduction due to COVID19 measures. Eligible tenants will have the benefit paid directly to their landlord, benefiting both the landlord and the tenant.

How much am I eligible to receive?

The benefit is $1,000 per household to help cover the cost of rent for a three month period. Eligible Islanders will receive $500 in the first month and $250 the following two months, regardless of the number of people in the household or living in the rental unit.

Who will receive the rental assistance?

The payment will be paid directly to the landlords of eligible tenants.

How is the rental benefit paid?

The payment will be made by cheque or direct deposit directly to landlords of eligible tenants.

Am I an eligible tenant?

You may be eligible for rental assistance if you meet all of the following conditions:

  1. You are in receipt of or applying for Employment Insurance (EI) or the Federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) as a result of COVID-19;
  2. You rent your primary residence in Prince Edward Island and your rent is not subsidized by any other government program including: Family Housing Program, Seniors Housing Program or Social Assistance Program, AccessAbility Programs, or Assured Income. As well, you are not an eligible applicant if you receive rental assistance from other funding sources such as non-governmental organization, non-profit organization and not-for-profit organizations that provide rental subsidies; and
  3. You are a resident of Prince Edward Island (a provincial health number is required to demonstrate residency).

NOTE: For students, the EI or CERB eligibility is waived.

How to I apply?

Eligible individuals must complete the application. 

Applications must be complete and include all required information including:

  • Personal Health Number (Health card number)
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN)
  • Spouse information (if applicable)
  • Rental information (Landlord name and contact details)
  • Supporting documentation 
    • Proof of rental situation (Rental agreement with landlord; other, such as a letter from your landlord, a current rent receipt (including address, landlord and amount of rent) may also be considered as proof of your rental situation)
    • Individuals: Proof of loss of employment (Record of Employment; other, such as a letter from your employer, or your Employment Insurance Confirmation may also be considered as proof of loss of employment)
    • Students: Proof of full time or part time attendance at a post secondary institution
    • Self-Employed: Proof of approval for Canada Emergency Relief Benefit or the PEI Emergency Income Relief Fund for the Self Employed 

When using the online application, you will upload electronic copies of your documentation. If the files you are uploading are large, you may need to reduce them. Read Resizing Photos for Online Applications for more information. 

If you need a paper application, please contact us at 1-877-368-5770 or Housing@gov.pe.ca ; staff will send you a copy to fill in and return to us.

What do I need from my landlord in order to apply? 

Contact your landlord to indicate that you have a plan to apply for the benefit to receive help to pay your rent. You may need to obtain a copy of your tenancy agreement, or a receipt for rent from your landlord.

Why should I apply if the money goes directly to my landlord?

Tenants remain responsible for the full amount of the rent under your tenancy agreement. By directing the funds to the landlord, it allows the landlord to decrease the amount of rent owed by the tenant, decreasing the financial burden on both landlords and tenants. It gets funds to the end recipient (the landlord) quickly.

Landlords and tenants will receive a confirmation of the amount of benefit paid.

We encourage landlords and tenants to work cooperatively together regarding reasonable options including repayment plans if the tenant is unable to cover the full balance of rent.

How will I know that my application has been approved?

Social Development and Housing will contact both the tenant and landlord by email or by telephone as soon as your application is processed. You can speed up the review process by providing all required documentation as soon as possible.

How long is the program?

You can receive a benefit for a maximum of 3 months as follows:

Application Month Benefit Months
April 2020 April, May, June
May 2020 May, June, July
June 2020 June, July, August

Why is this program for only three months?

There is much uncertainty regarding the duration of the current COVID-19 pandemic situation. The program was designed using the best information available at this time to provide rapid and short-term relief for households having difficulty in paying rent.

How is my information used and protected?

Social Development and Housing collects information from applicants under the Provincial Health Number Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. P-27.01 and section 31 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act R.S.P.E.I. 1988, Cap. F-15.01 as in order to assess eligibility for assistance. We do not disclose your information to other public bodies or individuals except as authorized by law. We keep the information only for the length of time necessary to fulfil the purpose(s) for which it was collected. If you have questions about the collection or use of your information, call 1-877-368-5770.

Are individuals who experience income loss for reasons unrelated to COVID-19 eligible?

No, this benefit is a targeted response for renters impacted directly by COVID-19 measures.

How do I prove my income loss is related to COVID-19?

A copy of your Record of Employment or a letter from your employer; other proof will be considered on a case by case basis.

What about people who live in social housing or receive another form of government subsidy or rental assistance? Are they eligible?

No, this benefit is for individuals who are not currently receiving another form of rental assistance. Anyone whose rent is based on income, receives rental assistance directly or a benefit that includes a shelter allowance is not eligible. You should contact your existing benefit provider to ask about a rental reduction due to your loss / reduction of income.

Can I switch from my existing rent supplement or mobile rental voucher to this new benefit?

No, this is a time-limited benefit for three months. Individuals currently receiving rental assistance will continue to receive their existing benefit. Individuals currently in receipt of rental assistance should contact your existing benefit provider to ask about a rental reduction due to your loss / reduction of income.

I am a landlord and my tenant is not paying rent. Can I access this benefit?

No – your tenant must apply. You should contact your tenant and notify them of this benefit. It is up to your tenant to review the benefit criteria to determine if they may be eligible.  

If I live in a first nations community am I eligible to access this benefit?

Yes, if you pay monthly rent for your primary residence and meet all other eligibility criteria, you and can apply for the benefit.

For Students

I am a student, am I eligible to receive this benefit?

Yes, students who can provide proof of full or part attendance at a post-secondary institution can receive this benefit. For students who share accommodations the $250 monthly benefit must be shared among the household /unit, for example three students renting one apartment get $250 per month, not $250 each.

Students must be residents of Prince Edward Island, renting off-campus. You will need to provide your provincial health number to demonstrate residency.

Students do not have to meet the work criteria noted above, nor provide proof of loss of employment.

For Self-employed

I am self employed. Am I eligible?

Yes, you are eligible if you are self employed. You must still meet all other eligibility requirements and will need to provide proof of approval for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or the PEI Emergency Income Relief for the Self Employed.

Contact

If you need a paper application, please contact us at 1-877-368-5770 or Housing@gov.pe.ca ; staff will send you a copy to fill in and return to us.

Housing Services
PO Box 2000, Charlottetown
PE  C1A 7N8
ATTENTION: Temporary Rental Assistance Benefit

Social Development and Housing

General Inquiries

Department of Social Development and Housing
2nd Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-620-3777
Toll-free: 1-866-594-3777
Fax: 902-368-4740

DeptSDH@gov.pe.ca