The Ontario government put forth a motion that would ease the stress many renters are facing.
The Helping Tenants and Small Businesses Act would freeze rent in 2021 for most rent-controlled and non-rent-controlled residential units.
“From the very beginning of this pandemic, our government promised the families, workers and small business owners of this province that we would have their backs and provide them with the support they need to get back on their feet,” Premier Doug Ford said in a news release.
“The crisis is far from over and the threat of a second wave is real, as are the challenges it will bring. That’s why we need to take the necessary steps now to help families keep a roof over their heads and small businesses keep their doors open,” he continued.
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In addition to helping residential tenants, the new bill would also help commercial tenants by extending the temporary ban on evictions for commercial renters.
The ban was initially intended to last from May 1 to Aug. 31, 2020, to align with the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) for small businesses.
Additionally, the ban will apply to businesses that are eligible for federal-provincial rent assistance through the CECRA for small businesses whose landlords chose not to apply for the program, and it will protect small businesses from being locked out or having their assets seized during COVID-19.
“Our government wants to stabilize rents for Ontario’s 1.7 million rental households for 2021, because this year is not like any other year,” Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, said in the same release.
“We know that families are continuing to be impacted by COVID-19. We know landlords have worked hard to be accommodating and have made sacrifices. We know that by continuing to work together, we will move past this extraordinary time and get Ontario back on track,” he added.