Rent supplements are government-funded payments that bridge the gap between what an individual or family can afford to pay and what the actual cost of housing is. They are geared at reducing the cost to the rate of affordability wherever possible (less than 30% of pre-tax income on shelter).
Rent supplements can be used in private and non-profit/government housing. Rent supplements can be portable – tied to the tenant and move with the tenant from unit to unit – or fixed – attached to a specific housing unit or program.
Many people who have entered Housing First programs are able to live independently in housing except for the need for a continual rent supplement. Rent supplements are often referred to as a practical way to provide affordable housing house that is faster than building new housing units.