The B.C. government’s temporary rent supplement for people who have lost income due to the COVID-19 pandemic has begun taking applications, offering $300 per month for eligible people with no dependents and $500 for those with dependents.
The payments are available for April, May and June for people who meet several criteria, with payments going to their landlords through B.C. Housing. The application and eligibility information can be found at bchousing.org/bctrs and eligibility information can be had by phone at 1-877-757-2577.
To be eligible, renters must meet all of the following criteria:
• receiving or eligible for Employment Insurance, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or experiencing a 25 per cent reduction in monthly employment income as a result of COVID-19.
• have a 2019 household income of less than $74,150 for those with no dependents and $113,040 for those with dependents
• paying more than 30 per cent of current (reduced) gross monthly income towards rent
• not receiving any other rent subsidy from any level of government, including subsidized housing ore rent supplements such as Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) or the Rental Assistance Program (RAP)
The rental supplement is in addition to funding available from the federal government and the $1,000 B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers.
The B.C. government has also halted evictions and frozen rent increases for existing tenants during the COVID-19 state of emergency.