DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Site Web : www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/departments/social_development.html

Contact information for Department of Social Development
Sartain MacDonald Building
551 King Street
PO Box 6000
Fredericton NB E3B 5H1
Telephone : (506) 453-2001
After hours emergencies:
(800) 442-9799
Fax : (506) 453-7478

1 (866) 426-5191
Moncton
Richibucto
Sackville
Shediac

1 (866) 441-4340
Saint John
St. Stephen
Sussex
Hampton
St. George

1 (866) 444-8838
Fredericton
Woodstock
Perth-Andover

1 (866) 441-4249
Edmundston
Grand Falls

1 (866) 441-4245
Campbellton
Kedgwick

1 (866) 441-4341
Bathurst

1 (866) 441-4246
Miramichi
Neguac

1 (866) 441-4149
Caraquet
Tracadie
Lamèque
Shippagan

Home Ownership Program

Provides financial assistance to low and modest income families to help them buy or build a modest first home.

Families or individuals with total household incomes below $40,000, and who can obtain private financing such that when combined with our funding would result in the total acquisition/construction of the unit qualify for this program.

You must also:

  • Be a first-time home owner or be living in a substandard housing unit.
  • Be a resident of New Brunswick and have been living here for at least
    one year.
  • Have a good credit rating and meet all financial institution lending requirements for obtaining a first mortgage. Applicants are not required to have a down-payment.
  • Any type of modest housing which qualifies for a 25-year conventional mortgage, or a 20-year mortgage in the case of a manufactured home, may be eligible.

If purchasing an existing unit:

  • The department will provide assistance in the form of a repayable loan for 40% of the purchase price of the unit.
  • Eligible applicants must meet all lending requirements of their
    financial institution (bank, credit union, caisse populaire, trust company).

If building a house:

  • The department will provide basic assistance in the form of a repayable loan to a maximum of $75,000. The Department’s financial contribution is not to exceed 50% of the total house costs. The applicant would have to provide proof of private financing of a sufficient amount that when combined with our assistance would ensure completion of the house. The Total Debt Service Ratio for new construction loans should not exceed 42%.
  • Whether you are purchasing or building a house, the loan will be repaid at 0% interest for those households with incomes less than $30,000. For each $1,000 of adjusted income above $30,000, the interest rate will increase by 0.5% until it equals the provincial borrowing rate.
  • Loans will be amortized over a period not to exceed 25 years, and will be subject to terms of one year.

RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

Public Housing
This program provides subsidized rental accommodation for families and senior citizens who, because of low income experience difficulty in obtaining adequate and affordable housing in the private sector.

Accommodations are provided to low income households whose income is below the established income ceilings which are based on both the household size and whether the units are located in rural or urban areas.

Tenants qualifying for assistance through this program will have their rents reduced to 30% of the adjusted household income.

Rent Supplement Assistance Program
Provides assistance to households in need so that they may obtain affordable, adequate and suitable rental accommodation by subsidizing rents in eligible rental dwellings.

To be eligible for assistance a household must first be in at least one of the following situations:

  • They occupy a crowded or inadequate dwelling and they currently pay less than 30% of their income for shelter, but basic shelter costs for an adequate and suitable dwelling available in their market would consume 30% or more of their income.
  • They pay 30% or more of their income for shelter and an adequate and suitable dwelling available in their market area would consume 30% or more of their income.
  • They have a need for special purpose accommodation.

In addition, where the household does not have a special purpose housing need, the total household income must be at or below the Housing Income Limit which vary by household size and area of the province.

Tenants qualifying for assistance through this program will have their rents reduced to 30% of the adjusted household income (for rent, heat, hot water, fridge & stove). Landlords will receive the difference between the rent paid by the tenant and the agreed upon market rent. To make this assistance available, this department and the owner sign an agreement, designating a number of housing units to be subsidized (agreements can be renewed). All units selected will comply with property standards acceptable to this department.

Annually, during the tenure of the agreement market rents may be adjusted upward to reflect any increase in market rents for similar accommodations in the area. The department selects households in need to be occupants of the units. Other than for the payment of the supplement by this department the full normal relationship between landlord and tenant will exist between the owner and the eligible tenant(s).

Non-Profit Housing Program
This program provides assistance to private non-profit organizations, including cooperative groups, to assist households who are in need to obtain affordable, adequate and suitable rental accommodations.

Eligibility is determined by the criteria established by the individual non- profit/cooperative agreements.

Not all units are subsidized; however, subsidized rental accommodations are available in some locations to low income rental household tenants qualify for assistance through the individual Non-Profit group or cooperative.

Rural and Native/Basic Shelter Rental Program
Assists households in need obtain affordable, adequate and suitable rental housing in rural communities.

Assists eligible off-reserve native and non-native households to obtain affordable, adequate and suitable housing in rural communities with a population of less than 2,500 residents.

Subsidized rental accommodations are provided to low income rental households whose income is below the established “income ceilings” which vary by household size and by areas within the province.
Tenants qualifying for assistance through the Rural and Native/Basic Shelter Rental Program will have their rents reduced to 30% of the adjusted household income.

RENTAL CONSTRUCTION, ACQUISITION AND REPAIR PROGRAMS

Rental Residential Rehabilitation Assistance Program
Provides financial assistance to owners / landlords for mandatory repairs to self-contained units that are substandard and rented to low income households.

A property is eligible if it meets the following requirements:

  • It is owned by a private entrepreneur, or by a non-profit corporation or housing co-operative that is not receiving any government housing assistance.
  • It contains one or more self-contained units, rented or intended to be rented to occupants with incomes below the established “income ceilings” set by the Province (this Department) and Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC)
  • The post – RRAP rent charge will be at or below levels established by this Department and CMHC.

The property is at least five years old and lacks basic facilities or requires major repair in one of the following areas:

  • structural
  • heating
  • electrical
  • fire safety
  • plumbing

Properties which do not operate as bonafied rental enterprises are not eligible for rental RRAP funding (i.e. nursing homes, care facilities, special purpose housing).

The amount you may receive is based on the cost of mandatory repairs and the number of eligible self-contained units in the project. The assistance is in the form of a forgivable loan. The maximum amount you may receive for each self-contained unit is $24,000. With the exception of non-profit organizations owners must contribute 25% of the total cost of mandatory repairs. All approved applicants must enter into a rental agreement to ensure that rents remain affordable to low-income occupants during the earning period of the loan.

If mandatory repairs cost more than the maximum amount available, you must provide the difference. All mandatory health and safety repairs must be completed.

Rooming House Rehabilitation Assistance Program
Provides financial assistance to owners/landlords for mandatory repairs to rooming houses with bed units that are affordable to low income occupants.

A property is eligible if it meets the following requirements:

  • it is owned by a private entrepreneur or a non-profit corporation or a housing co-operative that is not receiving any government assistance;
  • it is a rooming house or hostel containing more than three bed units which are rented to people not related to the owner;
  • it is intended to serve as permanent accommodation;
  • rents charged will be at or below levels established by the Province s(this Departments) and Canada Mortgage and Housing (CMHC);

The property is at least five years old and lacks basic facilities or requires major repair in one of the following areas:

  • structural
  • heating
  • electrical
  • fire safety
  • plumbing

Properties which do not operate as a bonafied rental property are not eligible for rooming house RRAP funding (i.e. nursing homes, care facilities, special purpose housing).

The amount you may receive is based on the cost of the mandatory repairs and the number of eligible beds in your rooming house or hostel. The assistance is in the form of a forgivable loan. The maximum amount you may receive for each bed unit is $16,000. With the exception of non-profit organizations owners must contribute 25% of the total cost of mandatory repairs. All approved applicants must enter into a rental agreement to ensure that rents remain affordable to low-income occupants during the earning period of the loan.

If mandatory repairs cost more than the maximum amount available, you must provide the difference. All mandatory health and safety repairs must be completed.

Rental Conversion Program
Provides financial assistance to owners/landlords to convert non-residential properties into affordable self-contained rental housing units and/or bed- units to be occupied by low income households.

A property is eligible if it meets the following requirements:

  • Properties owned by private entrepreneurs, non-profit corporations, co-operatives or Municipalities who wish to convert non-residential properties into bona fide affordable permanent rental accommodations are eligible. A legitimate landlord tenant relationship must exist.
  • The newly converted property will have to contain more than 3 bed units or one or more self-contained units to be rented to occupants with incomes at or below the applicable income threshold.
  • The post-RRAP rent charge will be at or below levels established by this Department. The project must be financially viable based upon the agreed upon post-RRAP rents. Properties which do not operate as bona fide rental enterprises are not eligible for RRAP conversion assistance (i.e. nursing homes, care facilities, special purpose housing).

The amount you may receive is based on the cost of eligible work and the number of eligible units within the project. The assistance is in the form of a forgivable loan. The maximum amount you may receive for each self- contained unit is $24,000. The maximum forgivable loan per bed unit is $16,000. With the exception of non-profit organizations, owners must contribute 25% of the total mandatory repairs. All approved applicants must enter into a rental agreement to ensure that rents remain affordable to low- income occupants during the earning period of the loan.

If mandatory repairs cost more than the maximum amount available, you must provide the difference. All mandatory health and safety repairs must be completed.

Shelter Enhancement Program
Provides financial assistance :

  • To repair/rehabilitate emergency shelters and second stage housing for victims of family violence to an acceptable standard of health, safety and security for occupants and accessibility for persons with disabilities.
  • To increase the number of emergency shelters and second stage housing units available to women and children or youth who are victims of family violence.

Non-profit corporations or charities which have the operation of housing for abused women and their children as a principal objective.

Assistance is in the form of a forgivable loan and is based on the cost of the Eligible Work. The maximum forgivable loan per unit is $24,000.

Assistance for a new project is in the form of a fully forgivable loan. Eligible sponsor groups may receive funding for up to 100% of the project capital costs.

Emergency Shelters or Second Stage housing projects in need of renovations must be substandard or deficient and require major repair or be lacking in basic facilities in at least one of the following categories:

  • structural
  • heating
  • electrical
  • fire safety
  • plumbing
  • building security
  • accessibility
  • children’s area

All mandatory repairs necessary to bring the property up to minimum levels of health and safety must be completed.

Eligible new project costs may include: Land acquisition; Municipal servicing; Landscaping; Construction, Acquisition and rehabilitation, or conversion; Hard furnishing; Soft costs; and Appropriate building security provisions.

Affordable Housing Program
Provides assistance to private entrepreneurs, private non-profit corporations (includes off-reserve native population), and co-operatives for the construction, acquisition & rehabilitation, conversion and operation of rental housing projects.

A development proposal is eligible if it meets the following requirements:

  • Eligible projects must create basic affordable rental units that would rent at or below the average market housing rents or prices for comparable housing in a community or area.
  • Projects may be developed through new construction, the purchase of existing housing with or without subsequent rehabilitation and the conversion of existing buildings.
  • Eligible tenants include families, seniors, non-elderly singles, disabled households, persons with special needs. Supportive housing programs may also be used to assist vulnerable seniors and adults to help them maintain or resume independent living it their own home
  • All new construction projects must conform to current design & building standards. Existing buildings must conform to acceptable standards, as determined by this department.
  • Private non-profit organizations must incorporate under provincial or federal legislation.

A proposal is to contain the following specific information:

  • information on sponsoring group
  • development plans
  • target group
  • site selection consideration
  • concept proposal
  • additional cost effectiveness considerations
  • development schedule

Assistance is in the form of a forgivable loan and is based on the cost of eligible work and the number of eligible self-contained units or bed units within a project. The maximum forgivable contribution for projects sponsored by non-profit groups is $40,000 per unit and may include 100% of the units within a project. Private entrepreneurs are eligible for a maximum forgivable contribution of $40,000 per unit, limited to no more than 50% of the total units within a project. Borrowers will enter into a Mortgage Agreement with this department to ensure that units remain affordable to low and moderate income households.

Interest free personal development funding loans are provided to assist eligible non-profit & co-operative sponsors of projects to carry out the activities required to develop a project proposal to the point where a commitment of assistance can be made.

Where situations warrant rental subsidies (Rent Supplements) may be provided to ensure units are affordable to low-income households. Tenants qualifying for assistance through the Rent Supplement Program will have their rents reduced to 30% of the adjusted household income. Landlords will receive the difference between the rent paid by the tenant and the market rent agreed to under a rental agreement.

Housing Assistance for Persons with Disabilities
Programs are offered by this department and provide financial assistance for:

  • Homeowners with total household income at or below the applicable Housing Income Limit undertaking accessibility work to modify a dwelling occupied or intended to be occupied by persons with disabilities.
  • Homeowners modifying their property to create a secondary/garden suite for adult persons with disabilities.
  • Landlords undertaking accessibility work to modify rental properties with self-contained units having rents that are acceptable to this department and occupied or intended to be occupied by tenants with disabilities with income at or below the applicable Housing Income Limits.
  • Landlords undertaking accessibility work to modify rooming houses with bed unit rents acceptable to this department and occupied or intended to be occupied by tenants with disabilities.

Any individual who is restricted or lacks the ability (resulting from an impairment) to perform an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal may be eligible.

Other Conditions:

  • Modifications to existing dwellings must be housing related and/or provide access to permanently install, basic facilities within the dwelling.
  • All work shall conform to the requirements of the most current National Building Code.

Eligible Properties:

  • Any residential property where: work will be undertaken to improve accessibility for a disabled occupant/tenant.
  • Secondary/garden suites can only be created on existing family housing residential properties. The applicant must be able to demonstrate that the property can feasibly be converted to include a secondary or garden suite which will meet this department’s requirements. Units created shall be modest in size and amenities.
  • Additions to existing dwellings may also be eligible as long as they meet this department’s requirements.
  • Only properties that meet acceptable standards of health and safety are eligible

For homeowners in need of disabled accessible modifications assistance is in the form of a forgivable loan up to a maximum of $10,000. Additional assistance may be available in the form of a repayable loan based on a household’s ability to repay.

Landlords are eligible for a forgivable loan for disabled modifications to a maximum of $10,000.

The maximum forgivable loan for the creation of a secondary/garden suite or an extension to an existing dwelling is $24,000. The applicant is required to produce equity or provide proof of other sources of financing to cover the cost of creating a secondary/garden suite or an extension which exceed the maximum forgivable loan available.

The housing response to an applicant’s particular situation is based on the needs of the applicant(s) and the most cost effective solution to address his/her current housing situation.

Federal/Provincial Repair Program
Provides financial assistance for:

  • Low income homeowners occupying existing substandard housing to repair, rehabilitate or improve their dwellings to a minimum level of health and safety.
  • Modifications to low income homeowner and rental units to improve the accessibility of the dwelling for disabled occupants
  • Adaptations for low income seniors who have difficulty with daily living activities in the home.
  • Provides assistance for limited modifications to eligible households to accommodate an aging parent.

To qualify:

  • the household income must be below the established “housing income limits” which vary by household size and by geographical areas within the province.
  • you must own the home and live in it
  • your home must require major repairs or lack basic facilities.
  • modifications are required for people with disabilities must be housing related and/or provide access to permanently installed, basic facilities within the dwelling.
  • adaptations required for seniors must facilitate and prolong sindependent living (i.e. using the kitchen & getting around hallways)

For homeowners in need of major repairs and or disabled accessible modifications assistance is in the form of a loan a portion of which may not have to be repaid. The maximum forgivable loan per housing unit is $10,000 for regular repairs and $10,000 for disabled accessible items. The amount of forgivable loan is based upon a sliding income scale and the amount of required repairs. The loan amount is at the provincial borrowing interest rate and can be repaid over a period of up to 15 years.

Homeowner households may be eligible for a forgivable loan for both disabled accessible modifications and other major repair items (i.e. structural, electrical) to a maximum of $20,000.

Seniors are eligible for a forgivable loan for minor adaptations to facilitate independent living to a maximum of $3,500 .

Landlords are eligible for a forgivable loan for disabled modifications to a maximum of $10,000.

Home Completion Loan Program
Provides financial assistance to low and modest income families to help them complete their partially constructed homes.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Families or individuals with total household incomes below $40,000, and who are occupying or will be occupying a partially finished home requiring at least one major repair item.
  • You must also be a resident of New Brunswick, and have been living there for at least one year.

The department will provide financial assistance in the form of a repayable loan, sufficient to complete the home, to a maximum allowable amount of $40,000.

The loan will be repaid at an interest rate of 0% for those households with an adjusted income less than $30,000. For each $1,000 of adjusted income above $30,000, the interest rate will increase by one half of 1% until it reaches the provincial borrowing rate.

Loans will be amortized over a period not to exceed 25 years and will be subject to terms of one year.

The Total Debt Service Ratio of the household including the Home Completion Loan must not exceed 42%.

Home Heating Programs

Fuel Supplement
The fuel supplement is designed to provide assistance to eligible households to assist with the costs of winter heating. The Regular Fuel Supplement is available from November to April of each year to social assistance recipients who meet the criteria.

The Fuel Supplement can provide assistance to cover some of the costs of winter heating, over and above what is included in the basic assistance rate. Eligibility is determined on a case-by-case basis. Many clients are already receiving some type of special assistance related to their heating costs either through SD or others.

Clients who are not considered eligible are those who:

  • Have accommodation costs of less than $100/month.
  • Are receiving the Income Supplement which is $100/month through the heating season
  • Are in subsidized housing where heating has been factored into the monthly cost
  • Live with their parents, are in a boarding situation, have only lot rent, or are in “maintenance only” accommodations.

The types of fuel supplements are Social Assistance Recipients:

  • The Electric Fuel Supplement is provided to eligible households who heat with electricity (fully or partially) in the amount of $150.00 per month, it is available from November to April.
  • The Non-Electric Fuel Supplement of $145.00 per month is available to eligible households from November to April.
  • The Bulk Fuel Supplement of $870.00 for the purchase of wood or oil sis provided from November through April. The benefit can be provided monthly at $145.00 per month or in a bulk format.

Both Social Assistance Recipients and non-Social Assistance Recipients:

  • The Emergency Fuel Benefit can be provided on a case by case basis to a client or applicant who is experiencing a winter hardship/emergency situation as it relates to winter heating costs. sThe benefit can be up to $550.00 per calendar year.

Emergency Fuel Benefit
The emergency fuel benefit is designed to provide assistance to eligible households to assist with the costs of winter heating.

Any household in New Brunswick that is in an emergency situation and unable to afford the cost of heating its home may be eligible to receive this benefit. The department will assess eligibility on a case-by-case basis

An emergency fuel benefit of up to $550 per calendar year may be provided to eligible New Brunswick households whether or not they are receiving social assistance. This benefit is provided to eligible applicants regardless of what type of heating they use.

Examples of an emergency situation include:

  • a high heating bill due to the cold, which means that you are not able to pay your rent or mortgage;
  • having to choose between feeding your family and paying your winter heating bill; or
  • an illness resulting in unexpected high medical costs, which have made it hard to pay your heating bill.

For the purpose of assessing need for the emergency fuel benefit, the department will assess all household expenses, but remove the requirement that assets be depleted in order to qualify for assistance.

The asset exemption will ensure that items such as investments (RSPs, GICs etc.), life insurance cash value, etc. are not considered in determining if the household is in need of an emergency fuel benefit, and cash-in-hand and bank accounts will only be considered if they exceed $2,000. This will allow people to seek assistance for a present-day emergency without sacrificing savings for the future.

All New Brunswick households who find themselves in an emergency situation may apply for the emergency fuel benefit, because eligibility will be assessed on the basis of whether or not a household is in deficit, based on income and expenses. A benefit of up to $550 per calendar year could be provided, depending on the size of the household deficit.

Heating Allowance
The Heating Allowance provides assistance for the heating costs of subsidized households in Social Development’s rental programs and in Non-Profit and Cooperative Housing projects whose rental payments are subsidized by the Department. The Heating Allowance is part of the rental payment calculation for clients subsidized under these programs and is utilized to reduce their monthly rental payment.

Eligible clients are households who pay their own heating bills and are in rental units owned by Social Development or in Non-Profit and Cooperative Housing projects whose rental payments are subsidized by the Department.

The Heating Allowance is designed to provide assistance for the Heating Costs of clients living in rental units owned by Social Development and in Non-Profit and Cooperative projects whose rental payments are subsidized by the Department. The Heating Allowance reduces the monthly rent payment of these clients with the amount of the Heating Allowance varying depending on the type of unit, number of bedrooms or the unit’s location.

DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE

Department of Finance
Revenue and Taxation Division
PO Box 3000
Fredericton, NB E3B 5H1
Telephone: 1-800-669-7070

2016 Home Energy Assistance Program

The Home Energy Assistance Program provides a $100 benefit designed to help low-income families cope with high energy prices. The program will provide a payment of $100 to families with incomes up to, and including $28,000.

To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Maintain a principal place of residence within New Brunswick at the time of application (either a house, an apartment, or a living unit that is a self-contained domestic establishment with its own access and contains a kitchen, bathroom and sleeping facilities);
  • Have had a total family income (applicant and spouse or common-law partner) of $28,000 or less in 2014.
  • Be a resident of New Brunswick as of December 31, 2014 and have filed a 2014 New Brunswick Income Tax Return.
  • Provide a copy of an electricity bill for your home dated after November 1, 2015. If electricity costs are included in your rent, provide the name and telephone number of your landlord at the time of application.

The department of Finance will process the applications and issue the benefit to qualifying applicants. In special circumstances where the total family income for 2013 was over $28,000 and the expected total family income will be $28,000 or less for 2015 (example: loss of employment or other reasons), an applicant may still be eligible for the benefit.

Application forms will be available January 2016. When submitting their applications, applicants must provide information on their total family income, and a copy of a recent electricity bill (dated after November 1, 2015). Only one benefit per household (address) will be provided.

Application forms will also be available January 2016 at Service New Brunswick centres, online at www.snb.ca or by calling the department of Finance at 1-800-669-7070.

It is important to note that the deadline to apply for the 2016 benefit is June 30, 2016.

For more information on this program, please contact the department of Finance, Revenue and Taxation Division at 1-800-669-7070, Monday to Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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