Provincial Government Renter Subsidy Application now open

As part of the Province’s $5 billion action plan, the BC Temporary Rental Supplement Program gives tenants and landlords temporary support toward rent payments for renters impacted by COVID-19.

The renter subsidy application process has been opened and the government has provided clarity on eligibility criteria. Further details on this can be found at the government of B.C.’s news release section here.

This new program will provide a temporary rental supplement for April, May and June 2020. It will cover part of the rent for low- and moderate-income renters who have lost income as a result of COVID-19. Applicants will only have to apply once. If they apply in April, they will get payments for all three months. If they apply in May, they will get payments for the two remaining months. It is expected that the first payments will be provided before the end of April.

The program gives $300 per month for eligible households with no dependents, and $500 per month for eligible households with dependents.

Since renters, including and any applicable roommates, are first required to apply for the subsidy to be paid directly to rental providers, please take the time to inform/educate your clients of this so they can, in turn, advise their tenants. The instructions on applying can be found at the BC Housing application portal.

This visual below articulates the steps needed in the application process.

Credit: BC Housing

Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) now available

Additional details are now available on CEBA, which is part of the Federal government’s Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP), designed to help Canadian businesses obtain financing during the current period of significant uncertainty.

CEBA provides credit to small businesses to pay for immediate operating costs such as payroll, rent, utilities, insurance, property tax, or debt service. It is 100 per cent funded by the Government of Canada.

It is available to Canadian employers with payrolls in 2019 between $20,000 and $1.5 million and are operating as of March 1, 2020. This includes smaller (i.e., micro) businesses and other eligible employers such as not-for-profits. For your information, this is updated as of April 16. CEBA previously offered loans to business with a narrower range of payrolls, between $50,000 and $1 million.

Under CEBA, financial institutions will be able to provide interest-free credit facilities of up to $40,000 to eligible businesses.

Please note that:

If the loan is repaid by December 31, 2022, 25 per cent (up to $10,000) will be forgiven.
If the loan is not repaid by December 31, 2022, the remaining balance will be converted to a three-year term loan at 5 per cent interest.

BCAP also provides access for Canadian businesses in all sectors and regions, to $65 billion in direct lending and other types of financial support.

Please contact your financial institution, especially where you have a pre-existing relationship, for more details on how to access the BCAP or CEBA specifically.

Additional COVID-19 resources: