Coronavirus: B.C. housing minister says ‘help is on the way’ for renters, homeless

B.C.’s ministers of housing and poverty reduction say relief and additional supports are coming for renters, low-income residents and the homeless who are struggling to cope through the coronavirus pandemic.

“We do know, and are very well aware that the next rent payment is coming up soon, and I want to reassure those who are afraid of losing their homes because they can’t pay their rent that help is on the way,” Housing Minister Selina Robinson told reporters on Saturday.

But renters will have to wait until early next week to see if B.C. introduces a ban on evictions, which has been repeatedly requested as tenants lose their jobs due to provincial restrictions on social gatherings that have shuttered many businesses.

Details on a financial relief package for renters, low-income residents and those on disability will also be announced when the legislature meets for a one-day sitting on Monday.

BC Housing has already announced a temporary moratorium on eviction of tenants in subsidized and affordable housing, but the ban only applies to public housing they control.

Robinson stressed that she and her colleagues in both her ministry and the NDP caucus are doing everything they can to ensure people are not evicted during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We don’t want anyone evicted during this very difficult time,” she said.

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