B.C. rent relief applications now open to help offset COVID-19 impact

Renters can now apply for the B.C. government’s new temporary rent supplement to help offset the economic impact of COVID-19.

Specific requirements must be met to qualify for up to $300 per month for households with no dependents and $500 per month for households with dependents.

The renter must be eligible for employment insurance or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit, or be experiencing a 25-per-cent reduction in monthly employment income as a result of the pandemic.

The renter must also have a 2019 income of less than $74,150 for households with no dependents and $113,040 for households with dependents, and must be paying more than 30 per cent of current or reduced gross monthly income towards rent.

Applicants will be turned down if they are receiving any other government rent subsidy, including subsidized housing or rent supplements such as Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters or the Rental Assistance Program.

The supplement will be available for April, May and June, and is on top of any federal supplements.

Eligible roommates will be able to access up to $300 with no dependents and $500 with dependents. For example, if there are four eligible roommates in a home, the landlord will receive between $1,200 and $2,000.

B.C. has also halted evictions and rent increases for existing tenants during the pandemic.

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