Frequently Asked Questions

You can quickly and easily find the answer to our prospective residents’ most common questions below.

  1. How can I rent an affordable housing unit with New Chelsea Society?
  2. Do I qualify for affordable housing and what type of unit would I get?
  3. How long will it take to get placed in a unit?
  4. I need a place to live by the end of the month. Can you help me?
  5. Where am I on the waiting list?
  6. How does the Society choose the applicant for the next available unit?
  7. Can I keep my pet?
  8. How much will I be expected to pay?
  9. What happens if my income changes? Will I have to move out?
  10. Someone applied for housing after me. How did they get into a unit before me?
  11. How can someone else be placed in housing before I am when I am in such great need?
  12. What can I do to improve my chances of getting the housing that I need?
  13. If I apply for housing with New Chelsea Society, do I need to apply elsewhere?
  14. Definitions of affordable housing terms

1. How can I rent an affordable housing unit with New Chelsea Society?

First, complete a housing application. You can download and print an application from your computer, pick one up at our office (New Chelsea Society, 7501 6th Street, Burnaby, B.C. V3N 3M2) or get one at any Royal Canadian Legion office in the Vancouver area.

Applications are put onto the waiting list and when a unit becomes available, an application is chosen from the waiting list.

2. Do I qualify for affordable housing and what type of unit would I get?

The type of affordable housing you might get is determined by your income level and by availability.

Applicants are categorized into one of three income levels to see which rental subsidy they may be qualified to have.
Applicants are placed on a waiting list for the size and type of unit they qualify for.

3. How long will it take to get placed in a unit?

The wait-time will vary depending on the type of housing requested and the number of units available.

Unfortunately, there is a much bigger demand for affordable housing than the number of units available. A new placement can only take place when a current resident moves out.

4. I need a place to live by the end of the month. Can you help me?

Unfortunately, New Chelsea Society does not provide emergency housing.

5. Where is my application on the waiting list?

The Society is not able to provide this information.

New applications are taken every day and the priority of placement is constantly changing. As a result, the Society only reviews the priority of the waiting list when a unit becomes available.

6. How does the Society choose the applicant for the next available unit?

Placements are made from the waiting list and are based on a series of factors. These include but are not limited to:

  • Availability: What type of unit is available (i.e. bachelor, 1, 2, 3, 4 bedroom)?
  • Eligibility: What type subsidy is available for this unit.
  • Suitability: Are there any physical limitations of the applicant such as stairs?
  • Need Point Score: Guidelines are set by B.C. Housing to objectively evaluate the needs of each applicant. The guidelines consider the cost of rent as a percentage of income; current living conditions; assets; length of time on waiting list, and other factors.
  • References: Good references from prior landlords are an important factor in the evaluation process.

7. Can I keep my pet?

Anyone wanting to house a pet on the Society’s premises must first obtain written permission from the Society. Some properties have a “No Pets” policy.

8. How much will I be expected to pay?

If you are offered a rent-geared-to-income unit, the amount you pay depends on the size of your family and gross household income (income before taxes).

Rent payments are generally set at 30% gross household income.

Debt load is not taken into consideration when calculating rent payments.

9. What happens if my income changes? Will I have to move out?

If a household’s income rises beyond the eligibility guidelines, a resident may be asked to move out within a reasonable time frame.

For rent-geared-to-income units, rent payments are re-calculated when household income changes. Rent payments may also be re-calculated when there is a change in the number of occupants in the household

10. Someone applied for housing after me. How did they get into a unit before me?

Most often the timing of housing placements relates to the differences in eligibility for one of the units. Criteria include available sizes of units (bachelor, 1, 2, 3, or 4 bedrooms), type of housing (family, senior or disabled person housing), and income level. In all, the Society has 15 categories of units and each application is filed according to the eligibility for one of the categories.

When a unit becomes available, only the applications eligible for that unit are reviewed and current eligibility is confirmed. Due to the complexity of the determining eligibility for each category, we ask that applicants contact the Society to update their file when they have a change of income, accommodation or family size.

11. How can someone else be placed in housing before I am when I am in such great need?

As difficult as some situations are, there are always applicants with equal or greater needs. When choosing between very needy households, the Society must rely on the most current information supplied by the applicants and carefully reviews all the factors.

12. What can I do to improve my chances of getting the housing that I need?

Keep in touch at least every 6 months and ensure your file is up-to-date regarding your contact information, income, accommodation or family size.

Note that if the office receives no contact from the applicant for a 12 month Period, the application is marked inactive and the applicant will not be considered if a unit becomes available.

If you no longer desire to live in a Society housing unit, please let the Office know so that your application can be removed from the applicant waiting list.

13. If I apply for housing with New Chelsea Society, why should I bother to apply elsewhere?

The Society is only one of a number of affordable housing organizations in the Vancouver area and various organizations do not share waiting lists. We encourage applicants to contact each group in order to apply for housing.

Definitions of Affordable Housing Terms

  • Affordable Housing: both the federal and provincial governments have set up programs that are aimed at assisting low to moderate income households by providing housing at a cost below the going market rates. Over the years, both levels of government have instituted numerous programs to accomplish this objective. Many affordable housing programs are operated in partnership with non-profit organizations like the New Chelsea Society.
  • Family: for the purposes of housing allocations, means a minimum of 2 persons and must include at least 1 dependent child (under 19 years of age).
  • B.C. Housing: The British Columbia Housing and Management Commission (also known as B.C.H.M.C.) is a crown corporation of the Province of B.C.
  • Royal Canadian Legion: Royal Canadian Legion Branches can be found in the white pages of your telephone book listed under “Royal Canadian Legion”. You would look up the address of the one closest to you and go down to their office and ask for a New Chelsea Application.
  • Rent-Geared-To-Income: refers to the setting of the monthly payment amount for a resident. The formula is set by B.C. Housing and residents pay approximately 30% of gross household income.
  • Seniors: for the purposes of housing applications, means a person who is at least 55 years of age, and includes a person who resides with a person who is at least 55 years of age.
  • Person with a Disability: for the purposes of housing allocations, means a person who, in the written opinion of a medical doctor or registered psychologist, has a significant permanent disability that cannot be significantly permanently improved by medical treatment, and that produces a loss of impairment of physical or mental ability.

If you don’t see the answer to your question above, please contact us directly:

Telephone: 604-395-4370
Fax: 604-395-4376
E-mail:
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