- #Life skill
- # Change management
It can be difficult to find a home when you are young and on a budget. But let's face it: you can't couch surf forever. Let's look at your choices for finding a safe place to live.
Finding the right home depends on how much you can afford and when you need it. The following programs and options can help you make a decision.
Pairs of chicks:
- Emergency and transitional shelters
- affordable housing
When life gets out of hand, shelters can protect you. Different shelters serve different groups of people, such as youth, women, families and people with addictions.
Emergency shelters are intended to provide short-term assistance in the event of a crisis. Transitional shelters can allow you to stay from 6 to 36 months and often offer special programs. They can help you find a job and a long-term home. Some can help you adjust to life as a new parent or help you recover from addiction or abuse.
The following websites link to emergency and transitional shelters in Alberta:
- Eye211 Alberta, you can search the Shelter/Housing category or click on a group such as Youth for shelter details.
- find sheltersprovides details on emergency shelter for individuals and families. Transitional shelters can be found under "Accommodation for short-term support".
- informeAlberta.caprovides links to shelters across the province. Use "emergency shelters" or "homeless shelters" as your search term.
Renting means that you become a tenant. That is, you pay the owner to live in a room, apartment or cooperative. you may be able to accessaffordable housing. If you are a student, you can tryaccommodation on campus.
Before signing arental contract, consider these four questions:
1. Choosing the right home for you
TIP: It can be difficult to absorb too many details at once. It may help if you print out this information and read it slowly. Write your answers or thoughts next to the questions. Use bullets to block what is not important to you. Use bullet points to highlight what's important.
Maybe you have a wish list for your new home. However, you may have to choose some things and give up others to meet your budget and other realities. Ask yourself:
- Can you afford your own house or will you have tolive with roommates?
- How far should you live from places you visit often, such as school, work, or special programs? You can pay more for rent but less for a bus ticket. You can also spend less time on the go, which gives you more time to do other things.
- If you live further afield, are cycle paths or public transport routes and timetables easy to access and use?
- Will you feel safe in the place you are considering?
- Will you be close to friends and support?
- If you are trying to make a change in your life, will you be around people and places that encourage old habits?
- If you have a disability, will your new location accommodate it?
2. Rent costs more than rent
That online ad looks pretty good. You'll be able to pay the rent and have enough left over for other things... well, maybe. Here are some additional costs to consider:
- Most landlords will ask you to pay adamage or security depositforward. This is usually the cost of the monthly rent. You'll get it back when you leave, as long as you haven't damaged the place. To go211 Alberta, click Shelter/Housing and search Housing Assistance for programs to help pay rent or a deposit.
- utilities,such as water, energy, heating and internet, may or may not be included in the rent. They can cost at least $100 more, so be sure to ask what services are included.
- renter's insuranceit's an option for about $25 a month. It's optional, but if you're burgled or your building burns or floods, your insurance will replace stolen or damaged items. However, the deductible, which you must pay to the insurance company before they pay the rest of the cost, is usually $500 to $1,000. If you have to leave home, the insurance will cover living expenses.
- Furniture,such as a bed, sofa, dishes or curtains are not included in most rentals. Your roommates may have some of these things. Thrift stores are also a good source. look at thisStartup list of new apartments.
3. Don't sign too quickly
Before signing the rental agreement:
- Tour of the estate with the owner. Record and photograph any damage. Make sure the landlord signs any note or picture to show they know about the damage when you move out. This will prove that you did not cause the damage and make it easier to get your deposit back when you leave. You can also ask the owner to correct any issues they point out.
- Find out if you are renting on a monthly or fixed-term basis. The fixed term is usually 12 months. Ask:
- Will you be charged if you leave before a certain deadline?
- Will your contract or fixed term tenancy automatically renew?
- If you need a roommate to share expenses, find out if your landlord allows it.
- Some owners do not want pets or certain types of pets. Be sure to ask.
- learn more aboutYour rights and obligations as a tenant.
Sharing space with roommates (in a room, apartment or house) has many positive sides. You'll pay less rent and you'll always have company. However, you will have to learn to get along well with others, which can get you into trouble. You might want to consider:
- Friends or strangers?Living with someone means give and take. Is it easier to do it with a stranger or a friend? If you feel like you're giving more, will it hurt your friendship?
- open communication-Talk aboutaseach of you does things and what you expect. you might want to writeroommate agreementwhich covers everything from shared food costs and cleaning tasks to the additional costs of guests or new partners.
- your own habits-Leaving an apple core on the edge of the tub after a shower might not seem like a big deal to you, but it could bother your roommate.
- Exchange of emergency details-If your roommate got really sick, who would you call?
For more information on renting, check out these resources:
- Links Housing stories-Learn how to meet the owner, deal with discrimination and more.
- A roof over your head-Learn about your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, as well as those of a landlord, and get tips on how to work things out with roommates.
- Renting 101: A Guide to Renting in Alberta-Use this quick reference to understand the laws that apply to Alberta landlords.
- student services-Check if the school you want to attend offers student accommodation. Explore the school website to learn more.
- Transition to Adult Program (TAP)-Foryoung adults who were previously in the care of Children's Services, this program helps prepare young adults for independent living, studying and building a career. Eligible participants may receiveup to $1,000 per monthhelp pay the rent.
Albertaaffordable housing programenables people on low incomes to rent at a reduced rate or to receive a rent supplement. Their owners can be municipalities, housing authorities, companies and non-profit groups. You must meet certain criteria to apply.
Rent allowance benefits
The province offers two types of benefits to help low-income Albertans pay their rent:
- Rent Aid Benefit is long-term and is paid directly to tenants.
- Temporary rental assistance helps people in Alberta's major cities. Alberta residents who are between jobs and not receiving welfare can apply.
If you are a young person leaving care, you can talk to your case manager about financial support. You can choose to have the landlord pay the rent directly.
Transitional accommodation with support or accommodation for special needs
Young people between the ages of 18 and 22 who have been under state care can access transitional living programs. However, they are limited. Call your social worker for a referral.
People with special housing needs can access the affordable housing program to learn about health, wellness and business skills and to live in a supportive environment. Residents may include:
- people with developmental disabilities
- people with physical disabilities
- victims of domestic violence
- custodianship of the earth's government
- people who are difficult to shelter
- any other group with special housing needs
Visit aaffordable housing programspage to find and apply for accommodation or contact usAlberta supports. You can also search for affordable accommodation at:
- 211 Alberta