Ontario Urges Federal Government to Provide Emergency Financial Assistance for Residential Renters

Published on April 26, 2020

News Release

Hamilton — Today, Flamborough-Glanbrook MPP Donna Skelly urged the federal government to provide emergency financial assistance to residential renters as the deadline for the May 1st rent payment approaches.

Even with support from the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit and Ontario’s support for families and households, including doubling the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for seniors and expanding eligibility to the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), the reality for many households in Ontario is that they will need to make some difficult decisions with May rent approaching. Housing is an important determinant of health, and keeping families at home has been one of our key defences in the fight against COVID-19. When families are forced to choose between rent, food on the table and other priorities, it also impacts Ontario landlords and the future stability of our rental housing sector.

That is why the province is calling on the federal government to consider additional emergency financial assistance to support the resiliency of the rental housing market, now and in the future.

“I want to thank the federal government for their partnership throughout these unprecedented times,” said Skelly. “But due to no fault of their own, many residential renters are struggling to make ends meet and the federal government is best-positioned to help them get through this very difficult period.”

QUICK FACTS

· The rental housing market in Ontario is made up of over 1.6 million households – over 30 per cent of all households in the province.

· The province is committing $241 million to the new $900 million Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program. This will provide commercial rent relief to small businesses and landlords, allowing them to make rent and keep people employed.