Rent is due today, but thousands of British Columbians won’t be paying

Rent is due today, but thousands of British Columbians won't be paying
WatchIt is the first of May. It's a day many Islanders have been dreading – rent day. With so many people out of work and off the job, there are tenants who won't be paying today and landlords who won't be getting that cheque. Kori Sidaway has more on what's being done to help all those renters.

Friday was May 1, a day many have been dreading because rent is due.

With so many people out of work, and off the job, there are tenants who did not pay today, and landlords who won’t be getting that cheque.

“I think what we’re going to see, unfortunately, is less renters being able to pay their rent,” said David Hutniak, CEO of Landlord BC.

As the economic shutdown drags on, the full force of the pandemic is hitting. And despite federal and provincial supports, both renters and landlords are hurting.

“There’s no winners in this,” said Hutniak.

“Both our sectors; landlords, and renters, we’re part of the rental housing ecosystem and we all agree the rental supplement needs to be enhanced.”

Unsurprisingly, advocates for renters agree that financial subsidies need to increase and that long term supports need to be ensured.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, John Horgan said no one would become homeless because of this pandemic. My concern is that people who are unable to pay their rent will be evicted when the state of emergency is over,” said Emily Rogers, a legal advocate Together Against Poverty Society

“People went into the pandemic with varying degrees of vulnerability. This has only been exacerbated throughout this emergency so I would like to see the most assistance go to those who are the most vulnerable.”

Right now the provincial government doesn’t have a formal plan for landlords and renters, as the province reaches the next phase of the pandemic — turning the economy back on.

But they do say, they won’t leave anyone behind.

“A number of these programs have been put in for a period of time, two to three months in many cases and we’ll be reviewing all of those as we review the economy opening up and as we see the types of challenges people will be facing,” said B.C.’s Finance Minister Carole James.


Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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