Reporting and Supporting: The Rent Supplement Program

4 July 2019

In 2017, the Agency took on the responsibility of managing Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)’s Rent Supplement Program. A few months later, we launched our brand new On-line Rent Supplement Claims System (RS System), ending the use of outdated paper forms. Almost two years in, we are happy to report that things are humming along well and our clients appreciate the system and the tools we developed to support it.

Our clients tell us that filing on-line is so much easier, particularly after the first year when the initial co‑op and household information has been entered. Going forward, co-op managers need only update any details that have changed, such as household incomes or composition, and the co-op’s own housing charges. The system allows our staff to finalize the claim efficiently by quickly identifying errors and arranging for fast fixes. We learned some lessons along the way, including the need to update utility allowances and charges and, for internal moves, the importance of precise information about moving dates.

According to one client,

I just wanted to con­gratulate everyone at the Agency for the development of the “new” method of doing the annual reconciliation. …While it took time for me to get a hold of everything, this was extremely easy to use. I almost regret retiring in a few months as this is much, much better than I imagined. 

– Birchwood Meadows

Did you know that we also have a User Guide and Tutorial Video? You can find these and other rent supplement-related resources here on our public website, with more coming later this summer. Two on-line reports will make it easier for you to verify the household data you’ve entered and track down any errors. Another will help you reconcile the rent supplement claim with your financial records. Stay tuned for details!

This fall, the Agency will also be sharing some global statistics on the rent supplement program. This report will look at the data collected to date through our RS System and use it to paint a picture of the households that receive rent supplements. While personal information will remain private, for the first time ever we’ll have information about household size, types of income and more. Be sure to check back!

Plans in Action

The average co-op with an approved capital replacement plan tucks away more than $3,600 per unit in reserves each year--triple the 2007 amount. Does their future hold better windows? New kitchens? Savings mean more choices.