The province is extending the current rent freeze until July 2021, according to the B.C. government.
In a news release sent out Monday (Nov. 9), the housing ministry said the freeze on rent increases is effective immediately. Increases that were set to happen on Dec. 1, the date that the rent freeze had been set to run out, are now cancelled.
The freeze on increased rent will expire on July 10, 2021. It was initially put into place on March 18.
“We know many renters are still facing income loss and even the slightest increase in rent could be extremely challenging,” said Housing Minister Selina Robinson. According to WorkBC, the unemployment rate for October 2020 is nine per cent. The 10-year average between 2008 and 2018 was 6.3 per cent.
The B.C. NDP, who were confirmed as a majority government Sunday, had promised to freeze rents until the end of 2021, and to cap increases after that. The party also promised a renter’s rebate of $400 annually for household earning up to $80,000 per year but not already receiving other income support.
The housing ministry said the rent freeze announced Monday was just an “interim measure” while the new cabinet was being sworn in.
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.