$500 monthly renters' supplement not enough, B.C. landlords say in call to double it
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VANCOUVER -- A monthly rent supplement of $300 to $500 isn't enough, an organization representing B.C. landlords says.
In a statement Tuesday, LandlordBC called for the amount to be doubled in some cases, citing the cost of renting on Canada's West Coast.
The organization of property owners and managers suggested the supplement for renters with no dependents be increased to $750 from $300.
Those with dependents should get $1,000, instead of the $500 a month currently promised to qualifying renters.
"Here is the dilemma. The current benefit amount is inadequate for a vast majority of renters relative to the monthly rent they are responsible for and, furthermore, the selection criteria is in our view leaving many renters behind," the statement said.
The group says it's expecting a significant spike in the number of renters unable to pay their rent at the start of next month, and suggests the province try to up the amount by Friday.
It's also asking the government to remove from its criteria the requirement regarding household income.
Eligible renters with no dependents must have an annual household income less than $74,150, and those with dependents must make less than $113,040.
Additionally, the province requires they be paying more than 30 per cent of their income towards rent, not be receiving any rent-related subsidies, and qualify for employment insurance or the Canada Emergency Response Benefit.
Following approval of applications submitted by both tenants and their landlords, the benefits are paid directly to the landlords.
Here's more information on how it works and how to apply.
LandlordBC says one-third of Canadian households rent their home, and calls on the federal government to launch further supplements across the country.
"We are now unfortunately learning from the prime minister that the federal government has no intention of more appropriately addressing the specific needs of residential renter households," the group said.
"So, it's up to you B.C. government."
The group also suggests the benefit be extended through to August 2020.
Currently the program has only been made available for April, May and June.