COVID-19: Economic Relief Measures Announced to Date

B.C. monthly bills and student loan payments

  • C. Hydro customers can defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty.
  • Targeted bill relief is available to B.C. Hydro customers experiencing job loss, illness or lost wages due to COVID-19. They will receive a credit for three times their average monthly bill over the past year to cover three months of hydro bills.
  • Small businesses that have been forced to close due to COVID-19 will have their power bills forgiven for three months. B.C. Hydro is waiving bills for these customers from April to June 2020.
  • C. Hydro rates will be reduced by 1% on April 1, 2020.
  • Insurance Company of British Columbia (ICBC) customers on a monthly payment plan who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19 may defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty.
  • Starting March 30, 2020, B.C. student loan payments are automatically frozen for six months.
  • For more information, please see the Government of British Columbia’s “Financial Supports in Response to COVID-19” website and the news release of April 1, 2020.[364][365]

Funding for housing supports

  • Funding for housing supports is increased to ensure people can maintain their housing in the event of job or income loss. Further, B.C. housing has temporarily suspended evictions of tenants in subsidized and affordable housing due to non-payment of rent.
  • To support renters who are facing a loss of income during the pandemic, a new Temporary Rental Supplement (TRS) has been announced by the government. The program will provide $300 per month for eligible households with no dependents and $500 per month for eligible households with dependents. The TRS is available on a per-household basis to those who meet the following criteria:
    • receiving or eligible for Employment Insurance, the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or experiencing a 25% reduction in monthly employment income as a result of COVID-19;
    • 2019 household income of less than $74,150 for households with no dependents and $113,040 for households with dependents;
    • paying more than 30% of current/reduced gross monthly income towards rent; and
    • not receiving any other rent subsidy from any level of government.
  • The TRS is available for April, May and June 2020. Eligible renters that have already paid their April rent can apply to receive the rental supplement for this month. The TRS will be paid directly to landlords.
  • For more information, please see the Government of British Columbia’s “Financial Supports in Response to COVID-19” website and the Government of British Columbia’s news release of April 1, 2020, and news release of April 9, 2020.[366][367][368]

Climate action tax credit

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