The federal government is helping out people who are spending a significant amount of their paycheques on rent. 

They are doing this in the form of a one-time top-up to the Canadian Housing Benefit that will allow eligible applicants to receive a tax-free $500. 

The goal of the top-up is to help relieve low-income renters from the effects of rising costs due to inflation. 

To be eligible for the $500 you must meet all the following requirements: 

  • You were born before December 1, 2007 
  • Your residence was in Canada on December 1, 2022
  • You were a resident of Canada in 2022
  • You have filed your 2021 income tax return or statement of income.
  • In 2021, you either had an adjusted income of $35,000 or less for families or $20,000 or less for individuals. 

The rent that you paid in 2022 must also meet the following requirements: 

  • Was paid in the 2022 calendar year. 
  • Paid for any of your qualifying residences in 2022.
  • The rent was equal to at least 30% of your 2021 adjusted family net income. 

People interested in applying do not need other housing benefits to qualify for the top-up. There are resources on the CRA website that can help determine the percentage of net income spent on rent. 

Before applying, the CRA is asking potential applicants to have the following information ready: 

  • Addresses of any principal residences in Canada in 2022.
  • Total rent that you paid in 2022 for these residences.
  • Name and contact information of the people you paid rent to. 

The application process will be open until March 31, 2023. 

You can apply online using your CRA My Account by clicking here.