NDP calls for rent support program

Pay the rent

With monthly rent coming due again Friday, Ontario’s official opposition New Democrats are again calling for Premier Doug Ford to help those who can’t afford to pay.

NDP leader Andrea Horwath and Tenant Rights critic Suze Morrison said that with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stating Tuesday that it’s the responsibility of provinces to help tenants, the ball is squarely in Ford’s court, and they are calling again for an 80 per cent rent subsidy for renters.

“Tenants who have lost income or jobs due to COVID-19 have once again been left to lie awake at night, wondering how they’ll make rent on the first of the month,” said Horwath.

“We’ve proposed a reasonable rent subsidy program so that no one loses their home, and no one ends this pandemic with months of rent debt they can’t pay.”

The NDP’s rent proposal is to provide an 80 per cent subsidy to renters who have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, to a maximum of $2,500 a month for four months.

“Some households had to use their retirement savings, or borrow money to make April’s rent. With May rent due in just 48 hours, we don’t have any more time to waste,” said Morrison.

“Tenants deserve the security of knowing they can keep a roof over their head during the pandemic, and they shouldn’t have to worry about shouldering crushing amounts of debt once we come out of this on the other side.”

The NDP has also proposed a six-month freeze on rent increases and a legal ban on evictions, lockouts and disconnections.