March 27, 2020 (ONTARIO) –
Our members sincerely care about our residents. We value you and your families. At this time of emergency, especially, we want you to be safe and secure in your homes. We know that many residents have had their incomes disrupted by the COVID-19 emergency. For some, it may be challenging to pay rent on April 1, 2020.
To take some of the stress out of the situation, we have the following advice on what to do if you cannot pay your rent due to the COVID-19 emergency.
- Reach out to your property manager by phone or online (to respect physical distancing).
- Explain the situation.
- Offer to pay what you can, if possible.
- Ask about government programs you might qualify for, and for the remainder, discuss a plan for how you could repay over time.
Remember, it is important to please pay your rent if you can. To keep buildings operating, clean, and safe, we need to pay our mortgages, operating costs and employees too.
We understand the situation is unpredictable. Some financial help is already on the way, and all levels of government have already taken steps to help maintain incomes or reduce costs:
- The Government of Canada has introduced the Canada Emergency Response Benefit which provides $2,000 a month for up to 4 months to individuals who have lost their income as a result of COVID-19. The federal government is also providing a 75% wage subsidy for small and medium-sized businesses so they can keep people employed.
- The Government of Ontario has set aside $148 million for assistance through Municipal Service Managers, which will use the Canada-Ontario Housing Agreement to direct more resources to tenants. The Province has also committed additional financial relief for low-income seniors, families with children and individuals with student loans.
- Some municipalities have offered grace periods for municipal payments such as property taxes, water and other utilities, and our members commit to take that into account in making arrangements and calculating arrears.
We are hopeful that these measures will help benefit our residents, but they may take time to reach those in need. We understand. We urge you to keep the lines of communication open with your property manager.
The Federation of Rental Housing Providers of Ontario (FRPO) is the province’s leading advocate for quality rental housing. FRPO represents over 2,200 rental housing providers who supply and manage homes for over 350,000 resident households across Ontario.
Tony Irwin, President and CEO
Phone: 416-385-1100 x20