During the COVID-19 outbreak, BC Housing has temporarily prohibited the eviction of tenants in subsidized and affordable housing. As we know the tenants in these rental buildings are particularly vulnerable and low income households. Subsidized and affordable housing operators are not permitted to issue Notice to End Tenancies for non-payment of rent. Operators can still issue eviction notices if tenants have behaviors that are threatening the life, health or safety of themselves, staff, or other tenants. However, operators are asked to complete a full management review to take everything into consideration.
BC Housing is working on providing rent reduction for tenants who have lost income due to COVID-19. In situations where tenants have previous owing on rent prior to COVID-19, BC Housing will review them case by case after the COVID-19 crisis is over.
Temporary Rent Adjustment Rules
Many British Columbians are experiencing loss of income as a result of the COVID-19, so starting April 1, 2020 tenants who have their rent geared to their income can apply for rent re-calculation.
Here is the review criteria from BC Housing website:
- Adjustment can be made for the next rent roll, no need for a minimum income decrease or proof that the decrease is permanent.
- Rent reduction can be processed for three months.
- To help both tenants and providers practice social distancing and to streamline the process, the following will apply:
- No signature required on Application for Rent Subsidy form. Print out form (paper or from Housing Connections database), write COVID-19 adjustment in the signature block.
- Income proof waived, based on self-declaration, no proof required.
- If applying for Employment Insurance, based on 55% of previous Employment;
- If not eligible for income assistance, may be eligible for the Emergency Care Benefit from the federal government, based on 55% of previous Employment.
- If actual income is less than our estimate, they can provide proof at a later date and a further adjustment can be processed.
- If applying for income assistance and household has no other income, the first month can be based on the minimum rent in order to provide time for MSDPR to process the application, then the second and third month should be the Flat Rent.
- Please enter into Housing Connections if your organization uses online rent calculation, or forward the form to BC Housing for entry.
- Keep a copy in tenant file.