B.C. renters who are struggling right now to pay bills will get an extra boost now. If your income has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, then money is tight all around. The BC Temporary Rental Supplement (BC-TRS) Program is now open for applications and it can give you extra cash on top of other provincial and federal benefits specifically to help make your rent.

The province first announced it would make a program specifically for rent money two weeks ago. While it wasn't up and running to help people pay rent on April 1, it's ready now. 

Here's how it works: if you're eligible you can apply and your landlord will get some money directly from the provincial government to help you pay rent.

You can apply online and find out all the details about the program through their website. 

It will give $300 per month to eligible households with no dependents and $500 for households with dependents. Plus, each roommate can apply for the supplement.

It's available for three months covering April, May and June 2020. If you are eligible for the program and you paid your April rent already, you can still get the money for that month.

Who can apply? You have to meet all of these criteria:

  • You have to be receiving or eligible for EI, the CERB, or experiencing a 25% reduction in monthly employment income due to COVID-19.
  • Your 2019 household income has to be less than $74,150, or if you have dependents, less than $113,040.
  • You have to be paying more than 30% of your income for rent.
  • And you can't be getting rent subsidies from other government agencies like subsidized housing, RAP, or SAFER.

After your application is completed, your landlord will get the money in about a week.

BC Housing has a ton of staff working right now specifically to process the applications and answer questions. 

B.C. was the "first province to provide direct support" for rent according to Horgan. 

This rent money is on top of all the other benefits and programs that can help you. There's the $1000 you can get from the B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers and the federal CERB program that gives you $2000.