What is subsidy?

Non-profit housing co-ops that still receive support from the government (federal or provincial) to help house some lower-income members sometimes call that support a subsidy or rent supplement. Housing charges for subsidized units are adjusted to fit with household income (“rent-geared-to-income” or “RGI”) usually based on calculating with the formula that 30% (or a another percentage) of the member’s income on rent (or housing charges) is the most someone should have to pay.

Subsidy (or a rent supplement) makes up the difference between what the member pays and the co-op’s normal (“full” or break-even) housing charge. However, the amount of subsidy is limited and just because someone is eligible does not mean the co-op will have the subsidy to help. When co-op agreements with government end, subsidies can end. Because of lobbying efforts, some co-ops now have the option to get extensions of subsidies and governments are speaking optimistically about continued opportunities after 2020. Learn more about co-op operating programs here co-op funding programs.