The BC Government unveiled a new temporary rental supplement in Victoria today (Wednesday) to assist renters across the province including those in the north.

In addition, the province is halting evictions and stopping rent increases until the COVID-19 crisis concludes.

The new rental supplement will help households by offering up to $500 a month towards their rent for the next four months.

“This is not the time to seek rent increases and there is just zero chance of that happening and I think those that provide rental stock understand that,” said Premier John Horgan.

“BC is suspending current and future evictions until this crisis has passed, there will be some exceptions but by and large, and you are at home and are either a good tenant or landlord you will be able to continue that relationship.”

Spencer Chandra Herbert, who led the Province’s Rental Housing Task Force, consulted with a broad range of tenant and landlord organizations to inform the development of these actions that meet the needs of both landlords and tenants during the pandemic.

“As we work together to fight this pandemic, we can’t afford to leave anyone behind,” Chandra Herbert said.

“That’s why I delivered recommendations that address the immediate concerns of both landlords and tenants who are doing their best at this difficult time.”

The Province is implementing a number of additional measures to keep people housed and protect their health.

* The new temporary rent supplement will provide up to $500 per month, paid directly to landlords.

* Halting evictions by ensuring a landlord may not issue a new notice to end the tenancy for any reason.

However, in exceptional cases where it may be needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the property, landlords will be able to apply to the Residential Tenancy Branch for a hearing.

* Halting the enforcement of existing eviction notices issued by the Residential Tenancy Branch, except in extreme cases where there are safety concerns.

* Freezing new annual rent increases during the state of emergency.

* Preventing landlords from accessing rental units without the consent of the tenant (for example, for showings or routine maintenance), except in exceptional cases where it is needed to protect health and safety or to prevent undue damage to the unit.