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Portable Housing Benefit

The Portable Housing Benefit (PHB) is a rent supplement, accompanied by housing supports, for low-income individuals with a mental health disability who have an unstable housing situation that is interfering with their progress in treatment and/or positive participation in community life.

The combination of a rent supplement and housing supports is intended to provide better access to the private rental market. Recipients are required to accept the housing supports to maximize the success of their tenancy.

The PHB is “portable”, as it is attached to the individual not the rental unit.

The target population for the PHB is Employment and Income Assistance participants who are enrolled on the basis of a mental health disability.

The PHB in the Interlake Region of Manitoba is delivered by the Canadian Mental Health Association – Interlake Region.

If you reside outside the Interlake Region, you will need to apply to another service provider to access this benefit.

Who is eligible for the PHB?

To be eligible for the Portable Housing Benefit, individuals must be:

  • Enrolled on Employment and Income Assistance (EIA) on the basis of a mental health disability
  • In an unstable housing situation at the time of application
  • Living in private rental accommodation
  • Willing to engage with the Canadian Mental Health Association, who are delivering the PHB

What is an unstable housing situation?

An unstable housing situation is accommodation that is:

  • Unsafe
  • Not affordable (rent is higher than the EIA shelter allowance)
  • Negatively impacting an individual’s current tenancy and/or
  • Interfering with an individual’s progress in treatment and/or positive participation in community life

How does the PHB work?

The Portable Housing Benefit offers the recipient both a rent supplement and housing supports.

Rent Supplement

The PHB rent supplement is calculated as the difference between the recipient’s actual rent and the amount of rental assistance received from EIA, up to a maximum of $200 per month.

Housing Supports

The Canadian Mental Health Association Interlake Region provides a supported housing program model to adults with mental illness in the Interlake. This program follows Psychosocial Rehabilition principles with an avid focus on recovery. Learn more about the Supported Housing Program in (Programs & Services) to see if this program is suitable to you or someone you know.

This program can help individuals with the following:

  • Finding suitable housing
  • Setting up a household (e.g., obtaining furniture and household items)
  • Maintaining a household
  • Paying the rent and utilities
  • Connecting with other services
  • Empowering clients to speak for themselves

What if my Situation Changes?

What if I move?

The PHB is attached to the individual not the rental unit. If you move, you will continue to receive the PHB as long as you meet the eligibility criteria for the benefit. The amount of the PHB will be adjusted to reflect the rental cost of the new unit (up to a maximum of $200 per month)

What if I go off EIA?

The PHB is for EIA participants who are enrolled on the basis of a mental health disability. If you stop receiving EIA benefits, you will no longer be eligible for the PHB. However, you may be eligible for other benefits, such as the Manitoba Shelter Benefit. When your EIA ends, you will receive a letter with information on these other programs.

What if I move into Public Housing?

The PHB is for individuals residing in private rental accommodation. The rent for public housing (Manitoba Housing units) is already subsidized so that it is within EIA shelter guidelines

How do I apply for the PHB?

If you are interested in applying for the PHB, or learning more about the benefit, you should contact the Canadian Mental Health Association – Interlake Region.

Phone: 482-9723
Email: cmhamhrd@mts.net

NOTE: The Canadian Mental Health Association is responsible for the service delivery of the PHB for only the Interlake Region. If you are looking to reside in an area outside the Interlake, you will need to apply to another service provider for this subsidy. CMHA Interlake can connect to these separate service providers.

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