It’s no secret that the rising cost of living has significantly influenced the spending habits of Canadians coast to coast. Within Quebec, various financial aid programs cater to low-income residents, such as the solidarity tax credit, social assistance, and the basic income program.
Furthermore, residents can avail themselves of Quebec’s Shelter Allowance Program, specifically crafted to aid those grappling with rental expenses.
According to the Institut de Recherche et d’Informations Socioéconomiques (IRIS), the income necessary for a single Montreal resident to maintain a comfortable standard of living increased by 9% from 2022 to 2023. This information is gleaned from the 2023 edition of IRIS’s income report.
Factoring in expenses like annual rent, groceries, utilities, transportation, phone bills, and internet services, IRIS calculated that a lone Montreal resident would require an income of $32,252 in 2023. However, it’s important to note that this figure may not accurately depict the circumstances of every individual in Quebec.
For those grappling with housing costs that consume a significant portion of their monthly earnings, the Quebec government does extend assistance programs to provide support during these challenging economic times.
What is the Shelter Allowance Program?
Per Revenu Québec, the Shelter Allowance Program aims to help low-income individuals and families who spend too much of their income on housing — providing payments to eligible Quebec residents from October 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024.
More about Quebec’s Shelter Allowance Program
Who is eligible for Quebec’s Shelter Allowance Program?
To be eligible for the Shelter Allowance Program, you must meet all of the following requirements set forth by the Quebec government including living in Quebec and and not being exempt from income tax in 2023. Those looking to apply must own the dwelling they live in, rent an eligible dwelling, or live with a person they pay rent to.
Additionally, the Shelter Allowance Program is for Quebecers or their spouse who have at least one dependent child or who will be the age of 50 or over by September 30, 2024. Finally, to be eligible your 2022 family income must not exceed the maximum income for the shelter allowance, which is based on one’s family situation.
The maximum eligible income based on a family situation between October 1, 2023, to September 30, 2024, is as follows:
- Single person 50 years of age or over $21,500 (maximum family income)
- Childless couple with at least one person 50 or over: $30,300
- Couple with one child: $37,200
- Single-parent family with one or two children: $37,200
- Couple with two or more children: $42,900
- Single-parent family with three or more children: $42.900
Revenu Québec does not consider you eligible for the shelter allowance program if you live in a low-rental housing unit (HLM) or a government-funded health and social services centre, receive a rent supplement or the total value of your (and your spouse’s) tax-free savings accounts (TSFAs) and unregistered accounts exceeds $50,000 on December 31, 2021.
More about Shelter Allowance Program eligibility
How to apply for the Shelter Allowance Program
If you meet all of the requirements for shelter allowance, you can apply for the financial assistance program in several ways.
You can apply for shelter allowance online via the My Accounts for Individuals on the Revenu Québec website, which gives you access to your tax documents, such as your notices of assessment, and allows you to manage your file according to the programs to which you are entitled.
You can also apply by filling out a form and mailing it in. Those eligible and looking to apply should fill out the Shelter Allowance Application (LEX-165-V) form. It is also possible that you may need to fill out the Statement of Rent (LEZ-14-V) form if you or your spouse are renting a room, an apartment or a house, live with a person in which you pay rent or live in a mobile home on rented land. Once the forms are complete, they can be mailed to Revenu Quebec at the following address:
C. P. 6800, succursale Place-Desjardins
Montréal (Québec) H5B 1J5
If you are unable to print the forms yourself, you can request the forms be mailed directly to you by calling 514 940 1481 (Montreal), 418 266 1016 (Quebec City), or 1 855 291 6467 (Elsewhere in Canada and the U.S.)
For those who already receive the shelter allowance, you must reapply every year to continue receiving payments.
More about Shelter Allowance Program application
How much can you receive from the Shelter Allowance Program?
If you spend 30% to 49% of your monthly income on housing, you will receive $100. Those who spend 50% to 79% of their monthly income on rent, will be entitled to $150, per Revenu Québec.
As for those spending 80% or more of their monthly income on rent, the shelter allowance program will pay $170.
More about Shelter Allowance Program payment amounts
When are the Shelter Allowance payment dates?
According to Revenu Québec, if you send over a completed application and are entitled to the shelter allowance, it will be paid to you in the first five days of each month by cheque or direct deposit. If you want to receive your allowance by direct deposit, complete the Request for Direct Deposit (LM-3-V).
If you apply between October 1, 2023, and September 30, 2024, the shelter allowance will be paid retroactively.
More about Shelter Allowance Program payment dates
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.