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Information & Support For Renters & Homeowners

Many of the constituents living in Vancouver Granville are renters and homeowners and may face difficulty paying their rent or making their mortgage payments.

Federal Support for Homeowners

On March 18th , 2020 the Federal Government announced that new measure have been introduced by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC):

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and other mortgage insurers offer tools to lenders that can assist homeowners who may be experiencing financial difficulty. These include payment deferral, loan re-amortization, capitalization of outstanding interest arrears and other eligible expenses, and special payment arrangements.

The Government, through CMHC, is providing increased flexibility for homeowners facing financial difficulties to defer mortgage payments on homeowner CMHC-insured mortgage loans. CMHC will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately.

For more information please visit The Government of Canada’s Website

Information courtesy of The Department of Finance Canada.

Provincial Support

To support people and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Province is introducing a new temporary rental supplement, halting evictions and freezing rents, among other actions.

The new rental supplement will help households by offering up to $500 a month towards their rent, building on federal and provincial financial supports already announced for British Columbians facing financial hardship.

“With lost jobs and lost wages due to COVID-19, many tenants are worried they can’t make the rent. It’s a challenging time for landlords too,” said Premier John Horgan. “Nobody should lose their home as a result of COVID-19. Our plan will give much-needed financial relief to renters and landlords. It will also provide more security for renters, who will be able to stay in their homes without fear of eviction or increasing rents during this emergency.”

The funds will support renters experiencing a loss of income by helping them pay their rent and will be paid directly to landlords on their behalf, to ensure landlords continue to receive rental income during the pandemic. Benefiting people with low to moderate incomes, this supplement will be available to renters who are facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, but do not qualify for existing rental assistance programs.

“People are feeling a lot of fear and anxiety and they need to be able to depend on the comfort and stability of home right now. Our government is taking steps to help take some of the pressure off renters and landlords and protect people’s health,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We’re helping renters pay rent and giving them the peace of mind that they have a stable home in these unprecedented times, and ensuring that landlords can count on some rental income right now to keep them afloat too.”

Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End, who led the Province’s Rental Housing Task Force, consulted with a broad range of tenant and landlord organizations to inform the development of these actions that meet the needs of both landlords and tenants during the pandemic.

“As we work together to fight this pandemic, we can’t afford to leave anyone behind,” Chandra Herbert said. “That’s why I delivered recommendations that address the immediate concerns of both landlords and tenants who are doing their best at this difficult time.”

The Province is implementing a number of additional measures to keep people housed and protect their health. The full list of immediate measures includes:

  • The new temporary rent supplement will provide up to $500 per month, paid directly to landlords.
  • Halting evictions by ensuring a landlord may not issue a new notice to end tenancy for any reason. However, in exceptional cases where it may be needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the property, landlords will be able to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for a hearing.
  • Halting the enforcement of existing eviction notices issued by the Residential Tenancy Branch, except in extreme cases where there are safety concerns. The smaller number of court ordered evictions are up to the courts, which operate independently of government.
  • Freezing new annual rent increases during the state of emergency.
  • Preventing landlords from accessing rental units without the consent of the tenant (for example, for showings or routine maintenance), except in exceptional cases where it is  needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the unit.
  • Restricting methods that renters and landlords can use to serve notices to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 (no personal service and allowing email).
  • Allowing landlords to restrict the use of common areas by tenants or guests to protect against the transmission of COVID-19.

To further support renters and landlords, the Residential Tenancy Branch will implement several additional actions, including adjourning and rescheduling hearings in situations where people need additional time to prepare and extending timelines for filing applications for dispute resolution.

These latest steps are part of the government’s $5-billion COVID-19 Action Plan to provide income support, tax relief and direct funding for people, businesses and services.

Learn More:

For information on B.C.’s COVID-19 Action Plan and other government resources and updates, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/covid19

Information courtesy of BC Gov News. 

Financial Supports for Individuals 

Support Description How to Access or Apply
Employment Insurance (EI) Existing benefits continue.Up to $573/a week, for a maximum of 45 weeks. Apply online, here.
Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefit Up to $573/a week, for a maximum of 15 weeks.One week waiting period waived.No medical certificate required (unless tested positive beyond the quarantine time period) Apply online, here
Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) A taxable benefit of $2000 a month (for up to four months) for workers who have lost their income and do not qualify for EI. Apply online, here.
Mortgages (CMHC-insured) CMHC and other mortgage insurers will be applying new measures to help homeowners who may experience financial difficulty. CMHC will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately Check with your lender for additional information.
Mortgages (non-CMHC) Canadians who are impacted by COVID-19 and experiencing financial hardship as a result should contact their financial institution regarding flexibility for a mortgage deferral. Check with your lender for additional information.
Canada Student Loans effective March 30 a six-month interest-free moratorium on the repayment of Canada Student Loans was put in place for all student loan borrowers. No payment will be required and interest will not accrue during this time. Students do not need to apply for the repayment pause.
Special Goods and Services Tax credit payment a one-time boost of up to $600 per eligible couple, $400 for eligible individuals in May. Benefit is paid out according to your income tax return. No application necessary, eligible recipients will receive this payment automatically.
Canada Child Benefit an extra $300 per child through the Canada Child Benefit (CCB) for 2019-20. If you are already registered for CCB you will receive this benefit automatically. Otherwise, apply online.
Income tax return The filing due date has been deferred to June 1. Payments owed are deferred until after August 31. No application necessary.
Registered Retirement Income Funds the required minimum withdrawals from (RRIFs) has been reduced by 25% for 2020. No application necessary.
Emergency Travel Loan Canadians abroad directly impacted by COVID-19 will have the option of applying for an emergency loan of up to $5,000 to help secure their timely return to Canada. Call Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa at 1-613-996-8885, or send an email to CAN.finances.CV19@international.gc.ca
Old Age Security (OAS) The OAS pension is a monthly payment available to seniors aged 65 and older who meet the Canadian legal status and residence requirements. Apply online, here.
Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) The Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) provides a monthly non-taxable benefit to Old Age Security (OAS) pension recipients who have a low income and are living in Canada. Apply online, here.
Allowance/Allowance for Survivor The Allowance for the Survivor is a benefit available to people aged 60 to 64 who have a low income, who are living in Canada, and whose spouse or common-law partner has died. Apply online, here.
BC Emergency Benefit for Workers a tax-free $1,000 payment to British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected by COVID-19. Additional information to come. Contact your MLA for further details.
Disability Assistance disability assistance can help you if you need financial or health support. Existing Disability Assistance program continues to be available. See also full list of additional supports here. Apply online, here.
Freeze on rental rates no rent increases are allowed in BC, effective April 1. Contact the Residential Tenancy Board for more information, or with questions.
Rental supplement the BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program gives tenants and landlords temporary support towards rent payments for renters impacted by COVID-19. Payments are made directly to the landlords of eligible households. Apply online, here.
BC Student Loans effective March 30, 2020, all British Columbia student loan borrowers will temporarily have their repayments suspended until September 30, 2020. No action needed.
BC Hydro bill deferrals, payment plans, as well as crisis funding is available. Call 1-800-BC-HYDRO
Emergency Housing existing shelters still active and additional emergency options may be available. Call 2-1-1 or search online.
Climate Action Tax Credit a one-time boost of up to $564 for eligible families of 4 and $218 for eligible individuals in an enhanced payment in July. No other action is needed; benefit is paid out according to your income tax return.
For a full list of financial supports available for individuals, businesses & more please click here.
While our office is closed to the public, we are still working remotely. If you need any assistance or have any concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this difficult time.