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Premier John Horgan has announced a number of temporary measures to help renters in British Columbia.
It’ll offer households up to $500 a month towards rent for anyone who has lost their job or wages due to COVID-19.
Premier Horgan and Minister of Municipal Affairs + Housing Selina Robinson announce relief for renters and landlords, part of BC's COVID-19 Action Plan.— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) March 25, 2020
For resources and more information about our response to COVID-19 see https://t.co/dNeIGC2C3X #COVIDBC https://t.co/8TkNl7deRP
“With lost jobs and lost wages due to COVID-19, many tenants are worried they can't make the rent,” said Horgan, who added that it’s a challenging time for landlords too.
“Our plan will give much-needed financial relief to renters and landlords. It will also provide more security for renters, who will be able to stay in their homes without fear of eviction or increasing rents during this emergency."
That security he’s talking to is a temporary halt on evictions and a freeze on rents, even annual rent increases, during this time.
Today’s measures have been put in place to help renters with low to moderate incomes who are facing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19, but do not qualify for existing rental assistance programs.
Any money provided to these renters through the supplement will be paid directly to landlords on the renters’ behalf.
"As we work together to fight this pandemic, we can't afford to leave anyone behind," said MLA Chandra Herbert, leader of the Province’s Rental Housing Task Force.
"That's why I delivered recommendations that address the immediate concerns of both landlords and tenants who are doing their best at this difficult time."
For the time being, in support of social distancing and self-isolation, renters now have the right to prevent landlords from accessing rental units without full consent.
The exception is in cases where access is urgently needed due to a health or safety concern or to prevent undue damage to the unit.
For more information on today’s announcement, click this link.