(Black Press Media file photo)

(Black Press Media file photo)

B.C. extends COVID-19 rental supplement, alters moratorium on evictions

Roughly 85,000 people have qualified for the temporary rental supplement

B.C. has extended its emergency rental supplement and slightly altered a moratorium on evictions through to August as many continue to face challenges returning to work due to the ongoing pandemic.

“COVID-19 has touched all aspects of our lives and our economy. 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,” Housing Minister Selina Robinson said in a statement Friday (June 19).

The temporary rental supplement was introduced in April and provides $300 to $500 per month for eligible households struggling to make payments to their landlords due to lost income from COVID-19.

According to the province, roughly 90,000 applications were received from April 9 to June 15. Nearly 82,500 people have qualified for the money.

Those already receiving the money do not need to reapply for the months of July and August. Meanwhile, new applications will be received until Aug. 31.

On Friday, the province also announced that the moratorium on evictions – which has been in effect since March 30 – will remain in place only for when renters cannot make their monthly payments, beginning later this month.

This means landlords will be able to serve new notices for reasons including when a new owner has purchased the property and intends to move in, as well as when a tenant is putting the landlord at risk or has sublet the apartment without permission.

Depending on the reason, these evictions will require a notice period of between one and four months, the province said. Eviction notices served before the moratorium was enacted will come back into effect and orders that were filed with the courts will be enforceable

Robinson said that the moratorium will be completely lifted in the coming months but pledged that struggling renters will be given advanced notice.

“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.”


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