The rising cost of rent has some in Lethbridge feeling the pinch


A report from shows rent in Lethbridge has seen a significant increase over past year.

Single-bedroom units have seen a 17.5 per cent increase to $1,167 on average, while two-bedroom units jumped 15.2 per cent to 1,386.

This has many turning to the Lethbridge Housing Authority (LHA) and its rent supplements.

“We’ll see people on our waitlist for the social housing and also an increase on the waitlist for people for rent supplements,” said Robin James, LHA CAO.

The LHA budgets more than $3 million annually for its rent supplement programs, which is able to help about 650 families in Lethbridge and the surrounding area.

But there are still many more who need help.

“We try to create affordability in the private landlord market but, you know, the funds aren’t unlimited. We do see a large number of individuals on those waitlists for rental supplements,” James said.

Post-secondary students are especially concerned about rising rent.

The Lethbridge College Students Association (LCSA) has heard from many students struggling to pay both tuition and rent.

“As we’ve seen in the current economy with the food rise, the impact of tuition raising and now rent raising, it’s having a huge impact,” said Niculina Jensen, vice-president of operations and finance with the LCSA

The association would like to see more support for its members from the province.

Most post-secondary students will not be eligible for the recently announced affordability payments coming from the province to help offset inflation.

Jensen found the exclusion of post-secondary students from the payments discouraging.

“We saw that the government has given support to others by this stipend, except for post-secondary students,” Jensen said.

The report predicts rent prices will keep rising. 

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