Editorial: More help needed for mortgage, rent payments

Editorial: More help needed for mortgage, rent payments

If you are a residential tenant, were you able to pay rent for April 1?

If you are a residential tenant, were you able to pay rent for April 1? If you are a landlord who didn’t receive your rent, can you make your mortgage payment?

To say these are anxious times is a gross understatement. In a province where many people were already living paycheque to paycheque, widespread job loss will likely have a devastating effect on a great many people.

The federal government hasn’t offered concrete help to directly aid landlords or tenants.

In B.C., Premier John Horgan announced that new and active evictions are halted, and annual rent increases are frozen. This should be some relief to tenants.

RELATED: B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

Horgan also announced the B.C. Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) program meant to provide up to $500 to be paid directly to landlords. A good news announcement, but with April 1 in the rearview mirror, tenants can’t apply for this money until mid-April.

Maybe they will be able to pay their May rent, but this means a great many tenants were not able to pay their April rent.

“This does not mean that tenants do not have to pay rent,” that according to information provided to landlords by LandlordBC.

And from BC Housing’s website on the question of whether tenants needed to pay April rent: “Yes, you should pay your rent for April.”

But whether it should have been paid is not the same as whether it could have been paid.

Pronouncements about programs that start up after rent is due are cold comfort for those needing to make mortgage payments to financial institutions.

There are no easy solutions to this dilemma, but according to a recent poll by the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union, 72 per cent of Canadians think the Government of Canada should halt all rent, mortgage, and utility payments.

And 64 per cent think that banks and financial institutions should not be allowed to charge interest on mortgages deferred because of COVID-19.

Government is in a tight spot, but landlords and tenants need more decisive action.

And they needed it yesterday. Actually, two weeks ago.


Just Posted

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Tourists are being asked to postpone their non-essential trips to Tofino as COVID-19 cases rise across Vancouver Island, but at least one accommodation provider is offering conflicting messaging. (Westerly file photo)
Victoria woman says Tofino Airbnb host encouraged travel despite provincial restrictions

“The only way I would get a refund is if she would be able to rebook the suite for that weekend.”

Randy Brown, owner of Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue, has five trailers and a motorhome at the back of his property that he is renting to people who had been previously homeless. He wants to put 15 trailers on his property, hooked up to city sewer and water and BC Hydro. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Another ‘deplorable’ Port Alberni property slapped with remediation order

Wintergreen Apartments and the impromptu trailer park in its grounds attract city attention

A Nanaimo driver was sentenced Monday for fatally striking a high school student with his vehicle in 2019. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo driver sentenced after motor vehicle incident that killed teen last year

Brandon Geoffrey Murdoch fined and prohibited from driving for two years

Nikita, a four-year-old German Shepherd that was attacked by a buck in a backyard in Esquimalt Sunday is lucky the injury wasn't more severe. (Photo contributed by Suzette Goldsworthy)
Esquimalt dog owner issues alert after deer injures German shepherd

Nikita needed stitches after an early morning encounter

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Alberni man gets four years for multiple sex assault charges

Colin Robert Hall was found guilty in the Port Alberni Law Courts

The suspect is described as approximately 20-25 years old, between 5’3 to 5’4, with dark hair. He was wearing black Adidas pants, white shoes, and a puffy grey jacket. Photo supplied
Suspected sought in attempted robbery in Courtenay

Investigators from the Comox Valley RCMP Major Crime Unit investigating

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

Victoria police are asking for help locating Jordan Doddridge who is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
VicPD seek help locating man wanted on Canada-wide warrant

Jordan Doddridge has an extensive criminal history including violent offences

Most Read