Huron-Bruce MPP Lisa Thompson is urging the federal government to support residential renters as well as the residential rental market as the deadline for the May 1st rent payment approaches.
Thompson is echoing Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Steve Clark’s letter sent to the federal government this week requesting support.
“Having a roof over your head is a vital part of everyone’s well being,” Thompson said. “With the current crisis, families should not be forced into a position of having to choose between paying rent and putting food on the table.”
Thompson also noted that keeping families at home has been one of the key defences in the fight against COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic also impacts Ontario landlords and the future stability of the rental housing sector.
The MPP said that even with support from the federal Canada Emergency Response Benefit and Ontario’s support for families and households, including doubling the Ontario Guaranteed Annual Income System (GAINS) payment for seniors and expanding eligibility to the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP), the reality for many households in Ontario is that they will need to make some difficult decisions with May rent approaching.
“That is why we are calling on the federal government to consider additional emergency financial assistance to support the resiliency of the rental housing market, now and in the future,” Thompson said.
In his letter to The Honourable Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Minister Clark wrote: “As we are all aware, housing is an important determinant of health. In this fight against COVID-19, keeping families at home has been our primary defence against its spread. The rental housing market in Ontario is made up of over 1.6 million households – over 30 per cent of all households in the province. When these families are forced to choose between food and rent, it also impacts Ontario landlords and the stability of our rental housing sector. With the May 1 rent payment due in a matter of days, we want to work with you to maintain the resiliency of the rental housing market now and in the future.”