Renting during the COVID-19 pandemic has left many Canadians in tough positions. This post will have some information regarding the rental assistance and aids available to Canadians during the Pandemic. If you find yourself and your Family impacted by COVID-19, be sure to be open and honest to your Landlord. Landlords are aware of the positions some Tenants are put into as a result of COVID-19. Be mindful however, some Landlords are potentially facing a struggle themselves. BC Housing has announced the Temporary rental supplement Program You can apply on line at the following link: bctrs.bchousing.org Please note there are some conditions for the application: The program will provide $300 per month for eligible households with no dependents and $500 per month for eligible households with dependents. Eligible roommates will each be able to apply for the supplement. The rental supplement is available on a per-household basis to those who meet all of the following criteria:
- Receiving or eligible for Employment Insurance, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or experiencing a 25% reduction in monthly employment income as a result of COVID-19;
- 2019 household income of less than $74,150 for households with no dependents and $113,040 for households with dependents;
- Paying more than 30% of current/reduced gross monthly income towards rent; and
- Not receiving any other rent subsidy from any level of government, including subsidized housing or rent supplements, such as Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) or the Rental Assistance Program (RAP). The supplement will be available for April, May and June 2020. Renters who are eligible for the program and have already paid their April rent are still able to receive the rental supplement for this month.
The Government has also announced several aids to help replace some of the lost income. Below are some of the aids the Government has announced:
- The Canada Emergency Relief Benefit(CERB) will provide $2,000 a month for workers whose income has been affected by COVID-19.
- The Emergency Care Benefit (ECB) will provide a bi-weekly payment of $900 for up to 15 weeks, for those that are eligible.
- The Canada Child Benefit is being increased by $300 per child for 2019-2020.
- Payments owed to the Canadian Revenue Agency can be deferred until August 31st with no penalty.
- Those with student loan payments can receive a six-month interest free reprieve.
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