Low and moderate income people who have experienced significant loss of income due to COVID-19 will be eligible for the rebate.
Housing Minister Megan Woods says the measures will ensure that people can stay in their homes during this challenging time.
Visit the B.C. Government's COVID-19 provincial support and information page to access programs and information. Our plan will give much-needed financial relief to renters and landlords.
Holly Popenia, a lawyer with the Community Legal Assistance Society representing tenants advocacy groups, says the moratorium on evictions is welcome news for renters but she wonders what will happened once the COVID-19 crisis is over.
"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.
Home furnishing retailer Dunelm on Tuesday was the latest major United Kingdom retailer to say it was launching talks with its landlords on rent reductions, as it seeks to find a way through a coronavirus crisis that has forced it to shut all stores.
Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End, who led the Province's Rental Housing Task Force, consulted with a broad range of tenant and landlord organizations to inform the development of these actions that meet the needs of both landlords and tenants during the pandemic.
"Unprecedented numbers of workers are being laid off and the last thing we need in the middle of the worst pandemic in 100 years is to have them worrying that they can not eat or will be living on the streets". "That's why I delivered recommendations that address the immediate concerns of both landlords and tenants who are doing their best at this hard time".
Horgan said only people unable to pay their rent should apply for the rental supplement.
While a landlord may not issue a new notice to end tenancy for any reason, the province is making an exception where needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to property. Existing eviction orders with B.C.'s Residential Tenancy Branch have also been halted. The smaller number of court-ordered evictions are up to the courts, which operate independently of government. Renters will also be able to prevent landlords from entering their units except in exceptional cases.
The province is further restricting methods that renters and landlords can use to serve notices, allowing emails but not personal service, to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19.
It is also giving landlords the ability to restrict access to common areas in buildings, allowing measures like reducing the numbers of people allowed in laundry rooms or closing games rooms, and to bar visitors.
The province's Residential Tenancy Branch will implement several additional actions, including adjourning and rescheduling hearings in situations where people need additional time to prepare and extending timelines for filing applications for dispute resolution.