1 death, 42 new cases of COVID-19 in BC

Premier John Horgan announced Wednesday a rental supplement, as well as a rent freeze and suspension of current and future evictions in B.C. during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"We know that a lot of students' winter term jobs are coming to an end and they're applying for summer jobs not knowing whether or not those are still going to be around", she said.

"We have one additional long-term care home in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, where one healthcare worker has been detected with COVID-19, and that is the Broadway Pentecostal Lodge in Vancouver", said Henry. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson confirmed that the funds are meant to help low- and middle-income renters who have seen a "significant reduction" in income directly related to the spread of COVID-19, be it through reduced hours or layoffs.

"This is not the time to seek rent increases", Horgan said.

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.

"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 are doing everything we can to make sure that if (people) are sick or self-isolating, or if they have had their hours cut back or they were laid off that they would not be fearful of losing their home", Horgan said.

The additional rental assistance program will be delivered through BC Housing.

That security he's talking to is a temporary halt on evictions and a freeze on rents, even annual rent increases, during this time.

Why it matters: The announcement Wednesday follows the province's $5 billion COVID-19 action plan, which committed to provide support to renters during an unprecedented and economically challenging time. Popenia asked. "Will evictions that were now underway before this suspension continue immediately after?"

"While these students may be able to access benefits from both the federal and the provincial governments in the coming months, this will not come quickly enough to help them make their rent payments for April 1".

Halting the enforcement of existing eviction notices issued by the Residential Tenancy Branch, except in extreme cases where there are safety concerns.

Furthermore, landlords will be prevented from accessing rental units without the consent of the tenant, except when health and safety or damage to the unit are concerned. The smaller number of court-ordered evictions are up to the courts, which operate independently of government.

Robinson added that the province is granting landlords the power to regulate the use of multi-purpose and amenity spaces to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Landlord will be able to restrict the use of common areas, such as laundry rooms, by tenants or guests, as well.



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