New Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program
Last week, Prime Minister Trudeau introduced a new Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 reduce their cost of rent by 75 per cent.
In this morning’s update, the Prime Minister reported that the federal government has reached an agreement in principle with the provinces and territories – the governments responsible for owner-tenant relationships – to share the costs of the program and to help to ensure the program is implemented.
The relief will be in the form of forgivable loans provided to qualifying commercial property owners to help cover 50 per cent of their eligible small business tenants’ monthly rent payments for the months of April, May and June.
Under a rent forgiveness agreement, which includes a moratorium on eviction, a mortgaged commercial property owner would need to reduce their small business tenants’ monthly rent by at least 75 per cent. The tenant would be responsible for covering 25 per cent, the property owner 25 per cent, while the federal government and provinces would share the remaining 50 per cent. The forgivable loans under the CECRA would be disbursed directly to the mortgage lender.
The CECRA is expected to be up and running by mid-May with commercial property owners lowering the rents of small business tenants payable for the months of April and May, retroactively, as well as a payment for the month of June.
The Prime Minister is expected to make future announcements to help larger businesses with their rent.
Eligibility for the CECRA:
The program is intended to help small business tenants that pay less than $50,000 per month in rent and that have temporarily ceased their operations or experienced at least a 70 per cent reduction in revenues due to COVID-19. The support is also intended to help non-profit and charitable organizations.
Who will oversee and administer the program?
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is expected to run and deliver the program.
Additional COVID-19 resources:
- Canada’s official COVID-19 page
- BC’s COVID-19 Dashboard
- BC’s COVID-19 Action Plan
- BC supports rent relief for BC small businesses
- BC Centre for Disease Control
- BCREA’s COVID-19 Resources for Realtors
- The Real Estate Council of BC’s COVID-19 Guidance for Real Estate Professionals
- CREA’s COVID-19 page