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FAQ: Interim Accommodation

Am I eligible?

In order to be eligible for the Wood Buffalo Interim Housing program you must meet the following criteria:

  • Have been a resident in the RMWB prior to the May 2016 fire
  • Have resided in a home that was destroyed or that is no longer habitable due to the fire
  • Not have secured other interim housing in the region of Wood Buffalo
  • Be a family with at least two dependents, and require three or four bedrooms

I have secured housing however, it is not suitable. Am I still eligible?

If your current housing does not meet the number of bedrooms required for your family size, is temporary (e.g., you are staying in an RV, a hotel, or with family/friends), or the living conditions are unsuitable, please explain this on your application form. This will be considered by Wood Buffalo Housing & Development Corporation (WBHDC).

I only require a one or two Bedroom. What options do I have?

If you require a one or two bedroom unit, you can apply for a WBHDC unit by calling 780-743-4140 or by emailing hillary@wbhadc.ca. The Municipality has also published information about property managers and hoteliers on the Interim Accommodation home page.

Information about hotels who have provided long term stay rates, reduced cleaning to lower rates, and who have pet friendly units is available at Demonstration Home behind the Youth Assessment Centre at 180 Mackenzie Boulevard. If finding pet friendly accommodations has been a barrier, please review our Pet-friendly Tip Sheet.

How was the rental rate set for the Government of Alberta interim housing units?

The units will be rented at a rate set by the Government of Alberta. The current price is market rate based on the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) report released in October 2015. Rental Rates are:

  • Three Bedroom Unit: $2,500 per month
  • Four Bedroom Unit: $2,650 per month

Tenants are also responsible for providing a damage deposit, and for paying utilities and any moving costs. Financial assistance for rent or damage deposits may be available for residents. Please contact the Red Cross for further information: 1-888-553-5505. For more information about the housing and the application process, visit the Alberta Government website.

The rental price for the units is not affordable for my family. What are my options?

There may be other options in the existing rental market. WBHDC has other programs that you may be eligible for (e.g., Social Housing and Gap Housing). Application forms are available at the Demonstration Home behind the Youth Assessment Centre at 180 Mackenzie Boulevard. Residents can also contact WBHDC by phone 780-743-4140 or email christal@wbhadc.ca for application forms. There is also a list of property managers and hoteliers in the region available on the Interim Accommodation home page.

If the above options do not meet your needs and you require financial assistance to meet the Wood Buffalo Interim Housing rental rate, please contact the Red Cross (1-888-553-5505) to access their Housing Financial Assistance program. The Red Cross has programs in place to help eligible residents with rent and/or mortgage payments, damage deposits, furniture and storage.

Are the Wood Buffalo Interim Housing units furnished? Where can I get help with furnishing my unit?

The interim housing units are not furnished, however the Red Cross does offer support with purchasing furniture for eligible residents. Please contact the Red Cross at 1-888-553-5505. Residents may also access one of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) distribution agencies who have donations available to residents affected by the wildfire. A list of agencies and their contact information is available at the Demonstration Home behind the Youth Assessment Centre at 180 Mackenzie Boulevard or on the Interim Accommodation home page.

I have an RV that I need to store. Where can I get help with storage?

The Red Cross has a program to support eligible residents with storage. Please contact Red Cross at 1-88-553-5505. If your home was damaged or destroyed and your lot has been cleaned you can store your RV on your lot over the winter.

How many units are being brought up?

The Government of Alberta currently has 65 units available. If more units are needed, the Government of Alberta will revisit the number of units available. The Parsons Creek site that is being prepared has room for 149 units. Servicing for all 149 will be done at the same time to avoid any delay if more units are indeed brought up.

How long will it take until I can move in?

The first units will start to arrive in early-mid October and the first tenants are expected to be able to move in mid-late October. The timeline is dependent on weather. Any updates on the timeline will be communicated to tenants.

Where will the Wood Buffalo Interim Housing units be located?

The units will be located in Parsons Creek. A map is available at the Demonstration Home behind the Youth Assessment Centre at 180 Mackenzie Boulevard and from the Alberta government website.

How long will I be able to stay in the unit?

The Wood Buffalo Interim Housing program will conclude at the end of 2018. Tenants may stay in the units for up to two years. However, each individual case will be taken into consideration and the length of stay will be based on:

  • The timeline of the rebuild or restoration of the home
  • The vacancy rate in the region (once there is sufficient vacancy in the rental market)

The interim housing units are only meant to be temporary. Therefore once the home is rebuilt or restored and/or once there is vacancy in the rental market, the units will be moved out of the region. This is to ensure that residents are able to have a more permanent housing solution as soon as possible.

The 2018-2019 WMZone season is finished.  Stay tuned for updates in the fall.