The Temporary Rental Supplement in place to help tenants pay rent each month during the COVID-19 pandemic will remain in place until August.
In an announcement on Friday, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing announced that the $500/month subsidy, which was originally provided until June, has been extended for two more months.
With it, the moratorium on evictions that went into effect on March 30 will continue for situations where the tenant is unable to make rent payments.
“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,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a statement.
“Recognizing the financial challenges faced by many people, our government is extending the TRS and maintaining the rent freeze and the ban on evictions for non-payment of rent.”
Those who have already been approved for the subsidy do not need to apply and will simply be asked via email to confirm their home address for the months of July and August. New applications for the TRS will also be accepted up until the end of August.
Later this month, the province plans to allow landlords to issue notices of eviction for reasons other than inability to pay rent.
Landlords will be able to serve these notices, with a period of one to four months, for reasons like a new owner purchasing the property and intending to move in, or for cause—in cases where the tenant is putting the landlord or other tenants at risk, or is subletting without permission.
When this new order is put in place, landlords will once again be allowed to enter rental units for repairs and maintenance, after giving tenants the standard notice.
The provincial government is also working on developing a framework that would require landlords to work with tenants to come up with a repayment plan for any rent amount that was unpaid during the pandemic.
Once the ban on evictions for non-payment of rent is lifted later this year, tenants will be responsible for paying back all outstanding rent.
According to the statement released on Friday, BC Housing received 90,000 applications for the Temporary Rental Supplement between April 9 and June 15, with 82,500 of them being eligible.
Those who meet the requirements for eligibility receive $300 per month for households with no dependents and $500 per month for households with dependents.
Tenants who require assistance can apply for the subsidy at this website.