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

Hamilton is facing a rental crisis, with monthly rent prices soaring and an increase in evictions - according to a new report.
Hamilton is facing a rental crisis, with monthly rent prices soaring and an increase in evictions - according to a new report. Getty Images

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.

READ MORE: B.C. offers $500 a month for renters, bans evictions and rent increases

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 dependants and $113,040 for households with dependants, and must be paying more than 30 per cent of current or reduced gross monthly income towards rent.

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The rebate will be available retroactively for April rent cheques, and be paid directly to the landlord.

“We expect, within seven days, to be able to provide the landlord with rent,” Housing Minister Selina Robinson said.

To apply, click here.

Online petition calling for rent relief gains momentum
Online petition calling for rent relief gains momentum

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.

READ MORE: Rent cheaters who exploit COVID-19 crisis should expect consequences, B.C. says

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Eligible roommates will be able to access up to $300 with no dependants and $500 with dependants. 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.