Skip to content

How to Apply

When times are tough and you can’t pay your rent or utilities, rent banks are here to help—offering financial support and connection to resources that can help keep you housed.

Bg  How To Apply

Applying for financial assistance is simple:

Confirm Eligibility

1. Confirm your eligibility

Are you:

  • 19+ or an emancipated minor
  • A renter in British Columbia
  • Experiencing a crisis that has impacted your ability to pay rent or utilities, such as gas, hydro and water
  • Owing less than $3,500 in rent or utilities
  • Able to provide proof of income sufficient to cover ongoing monthly living expenses and repay a loan
  • Part of a low-to-moderate income household
  • Free from undischarged bankruptcy

2. Fill out the application

Once you’ve confirmed you are eligible, submit your application online or contact your local rent bank directly for help. Plan for 15-20 minutes to tell us about your situation, finances, and other needs. 

Await Follow Up

3. A case manager will contact you

A case manager will follow up to provide support and ask questions to better understand your situation. You’ll be asked to submit identification, bank statements, and proof of tenancy. To qualify for a loan, you’ll need to show you have enough income to pay ongoing living expenses and a monthly loan repayment. 

4. If approved, funds are distributed

Breathe a bit easier, knowing the rent bank will support you with an interest-free loan to cover rent or essential utilities (gas, hydro, water) that you can repay over a period of up to 36 months.

Receive Repay

Frequently Asked Questions

BC Rent Bank is a project of Vancity Community Foundation, funded by the Province of British Columbia. We provide funding to the provincial rent bank network and support our rent bank partners with technology, resources, and training. We use the data and information we collect to advocate for change within the renter market.

BC Rent Bank does not provide financial assistance directly to renters. We partner with community-based agencies or local non-profit organizations, which operate rent banks in communities around BC. These organizations provide financial and other vital supports to renters across the province.

Rent banks provide eviction prevention and housing stability services to help renters maintain their housing when times get tough. Rent banks offer financial assistance and individualized support services to help renters through unexpected challenges that are putting their housing at risk.

Rent banks are operated by local non-profit organizations across BC; they also provide or facilitate connections to other services—such as financial literacy and debt relief; government benefits and housing supports; physical needs such as food and clothing; and referrals that support physical, mental and emotional well-being.

BC Rent Bank does not provide services directly to renters. BC Rent bank provides funding, resources, and support to the network of rent banks across BC.

Local rent banks work directly with renters in their communities to provide financial assistance, support, and referrals to prevent eviction and enhance housing stability.

Rent banks serve low- to moderate-income renters who are unable to pay rent or essential utilities due to an interruption in earnings or an unexpected expense.

Rent banks are important for more than just individual renters. The rent bank network benefits:

  • Communities
    • Housing and health are interrelated. Safe, affordable housing is a building block for the wellbeing of any individual. When people in our communities become unhouse, it costs everyone.
  • Other Renters
    • Each time an individual leaves a rental property, the landlord is allowed to increase the rental rate. While keeping a tenant will not free up a new rental space, reducing rental turn-over helps keep rental prices lower.
  • Landlords
    • When a tenant is evicted, landlords absorb the cost of missed rent payments and incur the expenses of finding new tenants.
  • Social Service Agencies
    • Shelters and other organizations often at capacity benefit from fewer individuals seeking support.

We encourage you to apply if you meet the following minimum criteria:

  • 19+ or an emancipated minor
  • A renter in British Columbia
  • Experiencing a crisis that has impacted your ability to pay rent or utilities (gas, hydro, water)
  • Owing less than $3,500 in rent or utilities
  • Able to provide proof of income sufficient to cover ongoing monthly living expenses and repay a loan
  • Part of a low-to-moderate income household
  • Free from undischarged bankruptcy

If you do not meet the eligibility criteria and would like information on other rental assistance options, please visit BC Housing’s website or call BC 2-1-1.

Rent banks can help with a security deposit, first month’s rent, or pet deposit once you have found a rental.

Once your application is received, your local rent bank will contact you within a couple of business days. A case manager will ask you some questions about your situation, and will also request the following documents to confirm eligibility:

  • Proof of tenancy
  • Two-three months of banks statements
  • Two pieces of identification (ID); including one piece of photo ID

If you have questions after submitting your application, please contact your local rent bank.

An application can take between 5-10 business days to process. A case manager will be in touch within two business days of receiving your application to learn more about your situation and request supporting documents. You can help speed things along by having your bank statements, proof of tenancy, and two pieces of ID (one with a photo) available.

Rent banks offer micro-loans. The average loan is less than $2,000. Each rent bank sets its own loan maximums based on current market rental rates.

Rent bank assistance may be used to cover:

  • Rent (upcoming payment or arrears)
  • Hydro, gas, or water bills (upcoming payment or arrears)
  • Security deposit, pet deposit, or first month’s rent once housing has been secured.

There is no interest charged on rent bank loans.  A small administration fee may be applied to cover banking fees.

Repayment terms range from 6 – 36 months.

If you can’t make a payment, contact the rent bank a minimum of five business days before your payment is due to talk about your options.

While there are some exceptions, rent banks do not offer grants. Occasionally, rent banks are able to access government or private donor funding that is focused on providing non-repayable housing grants, such as the federal program, Reaching Home.

In BC, there are some grants available from governments to help offset the cost of rent. These grants are available to individuals who meet certain criteria. Examples include:

  • The Rental Assistance Program is for working people with low- to moderate-income
  • Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) is designed for people who are over 60 years of age who are living on low-incomes in BC.
  • The Crisis Supplement is for individuals who are on income assistance, disability assistance or hardship assistance.
  • BC Hydro Customer Crisis Grant is for customers who have experienced a temporary financial crisis and cannot afford to pay their utility bill and want to avoid disconnection.
Bg Faqs