BC's homeowner grant is on the way, but where's the renters' rebate?

Jan 4 2023, 8:07 pm

The BC homeowner grant has been updated to reflect the new year, but what about the promised rent rebate?

On Tuesday, BC provided an update on the homeowner grant. Basic grant amounts for homeowners are the same as last year.

The basic grant amount for homeowners in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley is as much as $570 and as much as $845 for senior homeowners or veterans and for people who have a disability or live with a relative with a disability. Homeowners in rural areas can qualify for as much as $770 to $1,045. The grant covers 92% of residential properties.

People with a home valued up to $2.125 million qualify for the grant in 2023. Yet, the BC renters rebate the NDP government promised five years ago is nowhere to be seen.

In more good news for homeowners, the BC government announced new protections that were put in place. The protections include a mandatory three-business-day period to give homebuyers more time to secure financing or arrange home inspections.

“Housing remains a top concern for people in BC and a top priority for this government,” said Katrine Conroy, minister of finance, in a statement.

“Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions of people’s lives. This is an important milestone as we lead the way in protecting people and strengthening public confidence in the real estate market.”

Renters rebate announcement

Horgan first promised a rental rebate of $400 for every tenant on the 2017 campaign trail. Then, while seeking re-election in 2020, Horgan promised $400 per year for BC households earning up to $80,000 annually.

We asked the BC government to clarify when renters could expect a rental rebate. In response, we were sent an email referencing something Eby said after he was sworn in as the new premier on November 18.

“We ran on a platform for BCers, commitments to them that we would deliver for their community. Among them was the renters’ rebate. We are going to deliver on our platform commitments for BCers, including the renters’ rebate and I look forward to that.”

Reaction to homeowner grant announcement

On the heels of Tuesday’s homeowner grant announcement, the reaction has been somewhat mixed.

Many are criticizing the homeowner grant.

The official opposition also had something to say about the BC NDP.

“Despite giving renters false hope for a rebate in two consecutive elections, David Eby has failed to deliver. Instead, he watched the average rent in BC rise by more than $1,000 a month and Vancouver become the most expensive rental market in the country. Results matter and BC renters are tired of waiting for David Eby to make good on his promises,” said BC Liberal Housing Critic MLA Mike Bernier.

BC’s Minister of Housing Ravi Kahlon told Daily Hive the rebate is in the works, but would not specify when or how much it would be.

“There’s a whole host of pieces we’re putting together with our housing strategy. As you know, the Ministry of Finance… they’re doing the important work, ensuring that we can provide support for people during these challenging times,” he said on December 28, 2022.

In the meantime, the province has announced a rebate through ICBC and BC Hydro for eligible residents to meet the ongoing affordability crisis.

Would a $400 rent rebate help you? Let us know in the comments.

With files from Megan Devlin

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