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Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing says renters won’t be evicted during pandemic

Global News

The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing is reassuring renters that they will not get evicted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The province has made a number of changes to residential renters’ rules to help those struggling to pay their rent. “No new eviction orders will be issued until further notice, unless the matter relates to an urgent issue such as an illegal act or serious safety concerns”, reads a note on Ontario’s webpage.

It also states that “Landlords can still give eviction notices, however, landlords are encouraged to work with tenants to establish fair arrangements to keep tenants in their homes, including deferring rent or other payment arrangements.”

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Ontario government gives $200 million to social services

Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark, meanwhile, wants landlords to work with renters to keep them in their homes.

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“If people are working, we want them to pay their rent or pay what they can to work with their landlord, and in this very uncertain time, that’s our message,” Clark said.

On April 1st, the province rolled out its social service fund for Kingston which amounts to 1.2 million dollars.  Part of that funding will provide direct support for people laid off from their jobs due to covid-19.

“The social service fund is very flexible for the municipal administrators to be able to deal with rent subsidy, to be able to deal with food and shelters<” Clark said.

“There is a lot of flexibility in there.”

Clark says there will also be support for landlords. “I’ve heard from a number of smaller mom and pop landlords who are feeling a lot of pressure with their mortgage and with their bills,” he said,”and as programs roll out at the federal and provincial level, we want to make sure they are accessible.”

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READ MORE: Your rent is due. What help is available for tenants across Canada

He says they are going to get the funding delivered as early as today to municipalities so they can deal with non profits, shelters and food banks.

“We really need to help the most vulnerable at this time and I’m so glad that the Federal Government and the Province and communities like Kingston have been working collaboratively together.”