COVID-19 relief programs for home owners and renters

The federal and provincial governments are providing emergency aid for individuals to help you weather the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recent measures include income relief for people financially impacted by COVID-19, a provincial rental supplement, and different payment deferral options.

Keep in mind that this situation is evolving quickly. We’ll continue to provide the latest information as it becomes available. Here’s the latest summary:


Canada Emergency Response Benefit

The federal government announced a new, $2,000 per month Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) for Canadians who have lost their income due to COVID-19. This benefit program replaces the two benefits announced last week.

This taxable benefit will be provided for up to four months to:

workers who must stop working due to COVID-19 and do not have access to paid leave or other income support;
workers who are sick, quarantined, or taking care of someone who is sick with COVID-19;
working parents who must stay home without pay to care for children that are sick or need additional care because of school and daycare closures;
workers who are still employed but aren’t being paid because there’s currently not enough work and their employer has asked them not to come to work; and
wage earners and self-employed individuals, including contract workers, who would not otherwise be eligible for Employment Insurance.
Prime Minister Trudeau promised the benefit will be paid out to workers within 10 days of their application.

How to apply - application details will be available through My CRA and My Service Canada, beginning the first week of April.

Click here to read the announcement.

Individual tax filing and payment deferment

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is deferring the 2019 tax filing date for both individuals and certain trusts.

For individuals, the return filing due date has been deferred until June 1, 2020.
For trusts having a taxation year ending on December 31, 2019, the return filing due date has been deferred until May 1, 2020.
The CRA will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020, the payment of any income tax amounts that become owing on or after March 18, 2020, and before September 2020.


BC emergency benefit

The BC government announced a one-time, tax-free, $1,000 supplemental benefit for British Columbians who qualify for the federal CERB benefit.

How to apply - the provincial government is currently setting up the system to provide this benefit and is planning to launch it in May. More information on the application process and eligibility will become available in the coming weeks.

Provincial rent supplement

The provincial government is offering a new, temporary $500 per month rental supplement for renters in BC.

The funds will be available to low-to-moderate income renters who have lost income due to the COVID-19 crisis and will be paid directly to landlords through BC Housing.

How to apply - the provincial government is currently working on an application process. More details will come soon.

Bill payment deferment

The provincial government is working with BC Hydro and ICBC to allow bill payment deferment. ICBC is extending deferrals to up to 90 days.

People dealing with job loss, illness, or loss of wages due to COVID-19 may also qualify for BC Hydro’s Customer Crisis Fund grant program for up to $600.

More information

BC government’s COVID-19 action plan