Help is coming for renters.
At a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, Premier John Horgan announced that the provincial government will be providing renters who have lost their job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic the opportunity to receive a rental supplement cheque that could be as much as $500.
The temporary rental supplement will be available over the next three months and is specifically designed for those who have experienced a loss of employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic but don’t qualify other rental assistance programs.
B.C. Housing will be responsible for distributing the money, according to Horgan.
“We want to make sure we do this in a way that makes the most impact to the greatest number of people,” Horgan said.
While the temporary rental supplement will provide money to renters, Horgan said there is no guarantee that those who apply will receive the money before the beginning of next month. He also said certain details of the program are still being worked out, such as whether or not multiple people in the same rental unit can apply for the supplement.
The supplement was among a handful of new measures announced by Horgan that are designed to help renters and landlords during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We don’t want people to think they may lose [their] home because of the pandemic,” Horgan said.
Other measures include a total ban on rental increases during the province’s state of emergency, the suspension of current and future evictions of rental tenants indefinitely unless it is for health and safety reasons or to prevent property damage, and giving landlords the ability to restrict access to common areas in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.