January 2020 – Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Updates

Effective January 1st 2020 Clients will no longer be required to apply for Early CPP (CPP before the age of 65)   The 2 Year Financial Independence requirement has been removed from Ministry policy There has been an increase to the amount of time clients can live together from three months to 12 months, before having their assistance reduced to …

December 2019 – Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction Updates

Effective December 02, 2019 Sponsorship Undertaking Default An applicant whose sponsorship has defaulted may still be eligible for Income Assistance or disability assistance even if the sponsor cannot be contacted due to health and safety concerns. The applicant however, will have to meet all other eligibility criteria. For more information, click here. Effective December 09, 2019 Support for Alcohol and …

Tenancy Webinar

The Ask An Advocate team is pleased to announce that we have launched our first recorded webinar titled Tenancy Overview. This webinar provides basic information on topics such as the Residential Tenancy Branch and Act, rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords, eviction notices, dispute resolutions and more. Watch the webinar below or click here.

View Royal New Housing Project

A new 150 housing units has been approved in View Royal that will be able to house mixed income families. The project is being funded by the Regional Housing First Program and will provide A minimum of 44 affordable homes, 74 near-market-price homes and 34 shelter-rate homes rented at the provincial income assistance rate of $375 per month. https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019MAH0098-001661 The …

BC Rent Bank

The Vancity Community Foundation in partnership with funding provided by the Province of BC to help support existing Rent Banks in BC. Rent banks may provide repayable loans to individuals and families at risk of eviction for housing crises. In addition to providing loans, the rent banks may be able to assist with: Advocating on behalf of tenants Mediating between …

Income Assistance and Disability Benefits Increase

The BC Budget for 2019 has announced the following increases to the benefits rate effective April 1, 2019: Increasing the income and disability assistance rates by $50 per person Investing $26 million towards helping remove barriers to people accessing supports (i.e. mental health, older adults, etc). Including helping people obtain identification to access services, and extending shelter rates to those …

B.C. Child Opportunity Benefit

According to the B.C. Budget for 2019 the budget is introducing a new child benefit starting October 2020 that will provide families with: One child: up to $1,600 per year Two children: up to $2,600 per year Three children: up to $3,400 per year to help with the child’s upbringing. Families consisting of a child under 18 years old earning …

B.C. Student Loan Interest Eliminated

Starting February 19th 2019, all B.C. student loans will stop accumulating interest and there will be no more B.C. student loan interest. By doing this it is estimated to save students around $2,300 over 10 years (if they have a loan of $28,000) according to the budget estimate. For more information, click here.

Emergency Home Repairs Crisis Supplement

A crisis supplement for emergency home repairs is not available through the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction may be provided to recipients if all of the following criteria have been met: The requirements for a crisis supplement have been met The emergency repairs are at the applicant’s place of residence The recipient’s place of residence is owned by …

Crisis Supplement For Food Policy Change

On December 1st 2018, several important changes were introduced by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction regarding crisis supplements: The maximum amount of a crisis supplement for food has increased from $20 to $40 per person per month. There is no longer a limit on the amount of crisis supplements a person or family unit can request in …