COVID-19: B.C. case count grows by 42

Premier John Horgan, seen here at Legislature in Victoria on February 23, 2020, said now is not the time for people to lose the security of a roof over their head.

The province is restricting methods that renters and landlords can use to serve notices as well to reduce the potential transmission of COVID-19 by disallowing personal service and allowing email.

"With lost jobs and lost wages due to COVID-19, many tenants are anxious they can't make the rent", said Horgan, who added that it's a challenging time for landlords too. "Our plan will give much-needed financial relief to renters and landlords".

"Many students are ineligible for EI, finding it hard to get summer jobs + full-time jobs for new grads during COVID ... we need to make sure students, both domestic and worldwide, are able to access the financial support", the AMS wrote.

Holly Popenia, a lawyer with the Community Legal Assistance Society representing tenants advocacy groups, says the moratorium on evictions is welcome news for renters but she wonders what will happened once the COVID-19 crisis is over.

The premier also announced a province-wide freeze on rental increases for the estimated 500,000 renters in the province.

For more information on today's announcement, click this link.

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"While these students may be able to access benefits from both the federal and the provincial governments in the coming months, this will not come quickly enough to help them make their rent payments for April 1".

Housing Minister Selina Robinson said tenants and landlords must talk to each other to find ways to cover rents and get through the pandemic.

Speaking Wednesday in Victoria, the provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, reported 42 new cases of COVID-19 in B.C and one new death related to the outbreak at the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver.

Adjourning and rescheduling hearings in situations where people need additional time to prepare and extending timelines for filing applications for dispute resolution.

"We are focusing on where it makes the most difference", Henry said. (Horgan) is suggesting that he expects banks and lending institutions to be sensitive to landlords by deferring mortgage payments, but that doesn't guarantee us anything or provide us with any protection.

It is also giving landlords the ability to restrict access to common areas in buildings, allowing measures like reducing the numbers of people allowed in laundry rooms or closing games rooms, and to bar visitors. The smaller number of court-ordered evictions are up to the courts, which operate independently of government.

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