Savings Plans Exempt from Housing Eligibility Rules

Savings Plans Exempt from Housing Eligibility Rules

Albertans applying for affordable housing will no longer have to declare their disability and education savings plans as part of asset testing rules.

Registered Disability Savings Plans or Registered Education Savings Plans will no longer count toward the $7,000 asset limit for affordable housing programs. Some applicants have been denied access to housing support because their savings plans raised their assets beyond the $7,000 limit, even though they met the income requirements.

“By making this change, we are ensuring that low-income Albertans are not being penalized for saving for their future security or their children’s education.”

Lori Sigurdson, Minister of Seniors and Housing

The Social Housing Accommodation Regulation does not exempt the two savings plans, since the regulation predates the plans’ establishment by the federal government. The exemptions will take effect April 1 by ministerial order until the regulation is amended.

“Today’s change eliminates a disincentive for low-income earners to participate in registered education or disability savings plans. These vital asset-building tools enable Albertans and their families to achieve financial stability – to not only get by, but to get ahead. For example, children with an education savings account in their name are six times more likely to attend college or university.”

Jeff Loomis, Executive Director of Momentum

Asset testing for housing programs is now consistent with other support programs such as the Alberta Seniors Benefit.