Despite calls for a rent strike by tenant groups in late-March due to COVID-19-induced financial woes, approximately 85 per cent of Canadian renters paid part, if not all of their rent according to CIBC’s deputy chief economist, Benjamin Tal.
Tal said that close to 75 per cent of tenants paid rent in full, another 10 per cent paid roughly half, while 15 per cent did not pay any rent for the month of April. These figures were drawn from estimates calculated from surveys conducted among rental housing companies.
Given the crippled state of the economy and the fact that more than 25 per cent of Canadian households are renters, experts projected that rent delinquencies in April would have been higher. With May fast approaching, we may see a significant drop.
B.C. is currently the only province with a formalized policy to assist renters. For those impacted by COVID-19, the government is offering financial support to the tune of $500 per month, rent freezes throughout the pandemic, and a complete moratorium on evictions.
Whether other provinces will follow suit with a rental supplement program remains to be seen, but a petition containing hundreds of thousands of signatures has been sent to Prime Minister Trudeau calling for all rent and mortgage rates to be suspended during the pandemic.