B.C. extends COVID-19 rent assistance to July, August
Selina Robinson speaks in Victoria on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
VICTORIA -- The B.C. government is extending its temporary rent supplement for tenants and landlords and maintaining its moratorium on rent increases and evictions for unpaid rent until the end of August.
The province announced the move Friday morning, saying those who have already applied for the temporary rental supplement (TRS) do not need to reapply for it.
The supplement provides $500 per month for renters with dependents and $300 per month for renters without dependents.
"While we are seeing good success at limiting the spread of COVID-19 thanks to everyone’s joint efforts, it has been a difficult time for many,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a statement.
“Recognizing the financial challenges faced by many people, our government is extending the TRS and maintaining the rent freeze and the ban on evictions for non-payment of rent. We’re continuing to protect renters as we also ensure landlords are receiving some income during this time.”
BC Housing says it received more than 90,000 applications for rental assistance between the beginning of April and June 15. The total confirmed eligible applications were nearly 82,500.
Those already receiving the supplement will receive an email asking them to confirm they will be at the same address for July and August.
New applications for the supplement will also be accepted until Aug. 31 and will be eligible for a supplement for the month they are received and all subsequent months.
The province's moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent, which came into effect on March 30, will remain in place.
The province said its ban on evictions for reasons other than unpaid rent will be lifted later this month.
Once lifted, landlords will be able to serve eviction notices for reasons including landlord/purchaser use, such as where a new owner has purchased a property and intends to move in, and for causes including where a tenant is putting the landlord or other tenants at risk, or has sublet the apartment without permission.
These evictions will require a notice period of between one and four months, depending on the reason, the province said.
Tenants will still be responsible for outstanding rent when the ban on evictions for non-payment is lifted.
“As we move forward with carefully restarting the economy and look to a new normal, we are taking a similarly phased approach to rental housing,” Robinson said. “We’re recognizing that there are situations where it is safe and reasonable to return to normal processes, but we’re also continuing to protect people who have lost income because of the pandemic from losing their homes.”
Later this month, landlords will again be allowed to access rental units for activities such as repairs, maintenance and showing of the unit, following the standard notice period.
Landlords and tenants are expected to maintain physical distancing at all times and wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including masks, the province said.
To apply or find more information on the program, visit here.