Learn about efforts the help people with their rent and mortgage payments.

British Columbia Moratorium on Evictions and Rent Freeze
The BC Government has announced current and upcoming evictions are on hold and the province has offered a monthly $500 rebate for tenants struggling to pay rent. The rebate is through BC Housing (more information below). There are some exceptions for court-ordered evictions and extreme cases with safety concerns. Annual rent increases are also now banned. An application for the rebate is being developed. We will update when details are posted to the BC government’s site. 

BC Housing Moratorium On Evictions & Rent Adjustments 
Tel: 1-800-407-7757 
BC Housing has placed a temporary moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent in BC Housing subsidized and affordable housing sites. 

BC Housing: Rental Assistance Program (RAP) and Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters (SAFER)
Tel: 1-800-257-7756 or 604-433-2218
Provides rent support to lower-income working families and seniors.
Temporary Changes Due to COVID -19 Crisis:
These changes support new and existing clients who experience a loss of employment income due to the COVID-19 crisis. Lower-income seniors renting in the private market may be eligible for a rent supplement through SAFER.

  • Clients with reduced employment income on or after March 1, 2020 may request a short-term adjustment to their monthly benefit. The adjusted benefit amount is effective the month the decrease occurs. BC Housing must be notified within 4 months for clients to receive this benefit.
  • The 12 month BC Residency requirement will also be waived for any applicants that meet all other eligibility criteria.

To request an adjustment please contact our office toll free: 1-800-257-7756 or 604-433-2218.

BC Housing: Temporary Rent Supplement
Tel: 1-877-757-2577
The temporary rent supplement will provide up to $500 per month. Applications will open in mid-April to help with COVID-19 Crisis 

  • Eligible tenants will have the benefit paid directly to their landlord .
  • At this time, this is a three-month program.
  • Clients with reduced employment income on or after March 1, 2020 may request a short-term adjustment to their monthly benefit. The adjusted benefit amount is effective the month the decrease occurs. BC Housing must be notified within 4 months for clients to receive this benefit.
  • New RAP applicants with reduced income may have their eligibility and benefit calculation temporarily based on new, reduced income. In addition, the Emergency Care Benefit from the federal government will be considered a qualifying, employment replacement income.
  • The rental supplement will not cover the  entire rent amount. The BC-TRS will provide supplements of up to $500, depending on various factors including the size of your household. Tenants are still responsible to pay the difference between the benefit amount and their full rent. We encourage landlords and tenants to work together regarding reasonable options, including repayment plans if the tenant is unable to cover the full balance of rent.
  • The 12 month BC Residency requirement will also be waived for any applicants that meet all other eligibility criteria.

Eligibility:
To be eligible, tenants must have experienced an income loss or reduction as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

BC Hydro Customer Crisis Fund and Bill Deferment  
Tel: 1-800-224-9376 
BC Hydro has a pair of funds for customers and small businesses experiencing hardships and flexible payment options. The Provincial government has also announced a 1% reduction in rates for all customers.

  • COVID-19 Relief Fund - If you or your spouse/partner have lost employment or have become unable to work due to COVID-19, you may be eligible for three months of bill credit based on your average consumption. If you own a small business that needed to close due to COVID-19, you may be eligible to have your business' electricity use charges waived for up to three months. Application forms coming soon, check BC Hydro's website.
  • Crisis Fund - Customers facing temporary financial hardship and possible disconnection of their service due to job loss, illness, or loss of a family member may be eligible for BC Hydro's Customer Crisis Fund, which provides access to grants of up to $600 to pay their bills. 
  • Bill Deferment - BC Hydro can work with you to set up flexible payment arrangements or defer the bill to pay it later. 

City of Surrey: 90-day Extension for Annual Flat Water and Sewer Payment
The City of Surrey's Annual Flat Water and Sewer payment will be extended by 90 days. The grace period has been endorsed by City Council and the payment is now due July 2, 2020.

Fraser Region Aboriginal Friendship Centre Association Housing Help Line
Tel: 236-558-7112
Support and information with housing related issues.

Mortgage Deferments
The government has provided lenders with increased flexibility to defer mortgage payments immediately on homeowner government-insured mortgage loans for borrowers experiencing financial difficulties related to the outbreak. Insurers will permit lenders to allow payment deferral beginning immediately. Most major banks are offering options, contact yours to get more details.

Property Taxes: City of Surrey 90-day extension to pay taxes without late penalties
Tel: 604-591-4181  propertytaxesandutilities@surrey.ca
The 2020 due date for property taxes is July 2, 2020. In order to provide financial relief to our residents, the City has changed the penalty date to October 1, 2020. This change in penalty date will allow a 90-day extension to pay taxes without late penalties. A 10% penalty will be levied to all accounts with outstanding balances on October 1, 2020. The penalty is also applicable on the homeowner grant portion of your taxes.

Residential Tenancy Office
Tel: 604-660-1020    
400 - 5021 Kingsway Burnaby, BC V5H 4A5
COVID-19 Housing Information
The Residential Tenancy Branch provides landlords and tenants with information and dispute resolution services. The best place to start if you are dealing with a tenancy issue. They have also started a COVID-19 related frequently asked questions section.

SOURCES Rent Bank
#102-13771 72A Ave Surrey BC V3W 9C6
Tel: 604-547-0129   srb@sourcesbc.ca
We may offer a short term funding source to low-income individuals and families who are at risk of homelessness for home eviction due to lack of, or shortage of, a monthly rent payment, utility arrears, damage deposit or other circumstance, as long as the loan completely alleviates the crisis. Other eligibility criteria apply including having a steady source of income to repay the loan.

SOURCES Newton Resource Centre
#102-13771 72A Ave Surrey BC V3W 9C6
Tel: 604-596-2311     www.askanadvocate.ca
Wide range of supports, information and advocacy for income assistance, disability, housing and federal income assistance programs.  Also can help if you are being evicted (must have received notice) or with more immediate housing crisis. Offers community voicemail, pro bono access & free income tax service. Housing resources also available including lists of low cost rentals, phone for housing search as well as computers. Can help with loans to help with rent from the SOURCES Rent bank. Also offer more specific advocacy programs outlined below, plus others:
Disability Advocacy Program
This program provides information, referral, and advocacy with applying for, or appealing disability benefits through the Ministry of Social Development. Some help for medical and dental benefits, allowances, and other disability related benefits.
Mental Health Consumer Advocacy Program
Wide range of supports, information and advocacy. Help in dealing with income assistance, housing and federal programs like CPP.
Homeless Prevention Program
This program provides information, support, and advocacy for homeless individuals. Help available at the Newton Resource Centre and partner sites: The Front Room, Surrey Women’s Centre, Salvation Army Gateway of Hope, and Elizabeth Fry Society.
Poverty Law Program
Provides reliable poverty law services in English & Punjabi. Helps with fair access to income support programs and services through information, support and one-on-one advocacy. Help with income assistance and disability issues, tenant rights and mediation with landlords, EI and CPP issues and federal income related programs.

Tenant Resource & Advisory Centre
Tel: 604-255-0546 
TRAC educates individuals and community organizations about Residential Tenancy Law, promotes tenants’ legal rights  and affordable housing in BC.  Provides videos & publications in 21 languages. Info Line/Tenant Hotline 1-800-665-1185. Available 1pm-5pm Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri; available 5:30pm-8:30pm on Wed.

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