The provincial government announced today it is extending the freeze on housing rent increases until July 10, 2021.
A freeze on rent increases originally began on March 18, but it is set to expire on December 1. The extension is made under the powers of the Emergency Program Act and COVID-19 Related Measures Act.
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According to a release, all renters who have received notice their rent was set to increase after the March ban should disregard those notices and continue to pay their current rent until July.
This is an interim measure to help provide stability and advance notice for renters and landlords while a new cabinet is sworn in.
“We know many renters are still facing income loss and even the slightest increase in rent could be extremely challenging. For that reason, we are extending the freeze on rent increases to provide more security for renters during the pandemic,” said Selina Robinson, BC Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in a statement.
“We are all in this together, and it is important for both renters and landlords that people can stay in their homes.”
In their recent election platform, the BC NDP said they would move to freeze rents through the end of 2021 and implement a permanent cap on increases to the rate of inflation from 2022 onwards. Another part of their commitments promised a renters’ rebate that will offer $400 annually for households earning up to $80,000 annually that are not already receiving other rental support.