Subsidized housing for families earning $100,000 to end

July 24, 2012 - The province is changing how people get into government housing and how much of a subsidy is available.

According to information released Tuesday, there are at least 15 families living in housing units where their household income tops $100,000 per year, but their monthly rent is just $800.

The Saskatchewan Housing Corporation owns or operates some 14,700 properties throughout the province.

Keith Hanson, the chairman of the corporation's board, said many tenants make enough money that they could find a place in the private rental market.

One of the changes will see an end to a maximum rent charged by the corporation, currently set at $800.

Hanson said there are 800 families currently paying the maximum rent even though they could afford to pay more.

"It makes sense for us to utilize those 800 units for the lower income individuals in Saskatchewan who need them," Hanson said.

Instead of a rent cap the corporation will charge rent at 30 per cent of household income.

The calculation of income will not include a number of federal and provincial benefits.

The changes will be phased in over several years but will not be applied to current renters.

"We have to look at the number of people who would like to be there and ask ourselves are these the people that should be in our social housing?" June Draude, the minister responsible for the corporation, said in announcing the new rules.

The cities of Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw will have the new rules in place for new applicants this fall.

(c) 2012 CBC News