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Expected to Work/Barriers to Full Employment Policy & Procedures

Published Date: August 01, 2011
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06 Core Shelter

Social Housing

Income and Employment Supports Act, Schedule, section 8 and Table 3
Income Support, Training and Health Benefits Regulation, sections 2(1), 2(2) and 2(4)


To describe the core shelter benefits available to individuals living in social housing.


Core Shelter is provided to clients residing in social housing. Social housing is a housing unit operated and maintained by a housing authority established under the Alberta Housing Act. Core shelter is determined by household composition and living arrangement.

Core Shelter for Social Housing covers the following items:

  • Rent
  • Heating fuel and utilities other than electricity
  • Damage deposit

Social Housing shelter rates are regulated and cannot be exceeded by Community and Social Services staff or Appeal Panels. No additional allowance may be issued for an item covered by Core Shelter, unless specific provision is made elsewhere in the ISTHB Regulation.

Clients in Social Housing are allowed an amount for electricity over and above the Core Shelter rate for Social Housing. The amount provided is the actual cost of electricity or the established regional electricity rate. In all cases, the total costs of Social Housing rent and utilities cannot exceed the Core Shelter Payment Table amount for private housing.

Instead of paying the utility companies directly some social housing authorities give income support recipients a set amount of money for paying utility bills (excluding electricity). These funds if received, are exempt as income. 

Need Code 1115  Social Housing Rent
Need Code 1201 Utilities – Social Housing
Living Arrangement 6 Social Housing

Rate Adjustment
Where an applicant or recipient is not eligible for Core Shelter for a full month, they receive a pro-rated portion based on the number of days remaining to month end.

Core Shelter for applicants can be issued for the entire month if not paid.


  1. LISA will default the Core Shelter when the worker presses the Enter key in Preliminary Budget in Eligibility Determination and PF10 key in Client Budget for all household types except One-Time Issues when the Living Arrangement is ‘6Social Housing.


  2. To ensure LISA defaults the right Core Shelter amount from the Core Shelter Payment Table, the worker must ensure the Living Arrangement field displayed in Client Budget is correct and that household composition is correct in Client File

    Workers can change Living Arrangement in Client Budget.