The New Westminster Rent Bank (NWRB) is a housing stabilization program geared towards low-income residents of New Westminster who are experiencing a temporary and unexpected financial crisis.
The NWRB offers low-fee, no interest, short-term loans to low income individuals and families that live in the City of New Westminster and are at risk of eviction or essential utility disconnection due to a temporary and unexpected financial crisis. The NWRB also offers assistance with damage deposits, pet deposits and first month’s rent for low income individuals and families who are moving into a new residence in New Westminster and are financially unable to meet these expenses.
The NWRB is a program initiated by MLA Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions. This program is also supported by the City of New Westminster, Social Planning Department.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT OF THE NEW WESTMINSTER RENT BANK
The majority of NWRB’s operating expenses is generously provided by the City of New Westminster.
Financing for the loan capital was generously donated by local credit unions, including: Van City, Community Savings, GVC Credit Union, Coast Capital Savings, G&F Financial, Westminster Savings and the New Westminster Homelessness Coalition Society.
As of June 2019 additional financial support is generously provided by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.
The NWRB is operated by the Lower Mainland Purpose Society.
Purpose of Loans
NWRB provides support to keep low income individuals and families housed. Loans are to assist with:
- Rental arrears/past due rent
- Next Month’s Rent
- Essential utility arrears
- Damage/Pet deposits and/or First month’s rent
Maximum Loan Amounts
Individuals may borrow up to a maximum of $1,400.00
Families (2 or more people living in a family relationship) may borrow up to a maximum of $1,700.00
Please note that the NWRB has limited funding. Monthly quotas may determine how many loans can be issued within any one month.
Distribution of Loan Funds
When a loan has been approved funds are issued by cheque. Cheques are payable directly to the creditor (eg. the landlord, Fortis BC or the City of New Westminster).
Loans are repaid in monthly installments. The repayment term of a loan is determined by the amount loaned and borrower’s ability to repay. Repayment terms range between 6 months to 24 months.
Monthly repayments are automatically withdrawn from the recipient’s bank account OR provincial government assistance (if applicable). Loans are interest free but subject to a $1.00 monthly administration fee.
To be eligible for a loan applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Must be 19 years of age or older.
- Must currently reside in OR be moving to the City of New Westminster (if seeking damage deposit or first month’s rent).
- Cannot be more than 2 months in arrears (rent and/or utility)
- Must be a Canadian Citizen, Convention Refugee, Landed Immigrant, or Permanent Resident.
- Must have a current bank account.
- Must be able to provide proof of a regular source of income which is sufficient to cover monthly living expenses.
- Must have experienced a temporary, unexpected financial crisis.
- Must not have undischarged bankruptcy.
- Must not be able to access other forms of financial assistance.
- Must have 2 pieces of valid identification. One of which must be government issued identification with a photo.
- Must demonstrate the household is low income.
- Must demonstrate that the loan will stabilize the housing situation for 90+ days.
- Must not have an outstanding loan with the NWRB.
Everyone who submits a Pre-Assessment Form will be contacted directly by the NWRB Case Manager. Regardless of eligibility for a loan, the NWRB Case Manager will work with applicants to connect them with appropriate support services within the community to address their needs.
The first step in the Rent Bank application is to complete the Pre-Assessment Form found below. Please email the completed form to Rentbank@purposesociety.org or submit in person to reception at the Lower Mainland Purpose Society. The Lower Mainland Purpose Society is located at: 40 Begbie Street, New Westminster.
If you are submitting the Pre-Assessment Form in person, reception is open Monday through Friday, from 8:30am – 5:00pm.
Please note that the Rent Bank is only open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 9:00am to 4:30pm.
For further information please feel free to contact the NWRB Case Manager at:
New West City Hall Tenant Rights and Resources at:
Poverty Law Advocate Program (assists with Residential Tenancy) at:
If you would like to help your neighbours to stay housed by providing a donation to the New Westminster Rent Bank please contact the Lower Mainland Purpose Society at: