The Province of British Columbia has done a phenomenal job of coordinating resources, sharing information, and creating confidence within the people living here. The data suggest that B.C. is leading the country in terms of controlling the pandemic, and this is largely due to the supports that were put in place early on.
In addition to the financial supports offered by the federal government, B.C. has implemented the following resources:
Black in B.C. Community Support Fund — this GoFundMe campaign is a low-barrier, emergency, micro-grant program for black people in B.C, experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19.
B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers – A tax-free, one-time payment of $1000 for B.C. residents whose ability to work has been impacted by COVID-19.
The Residential Tenancy Act has been amended for tenants and landlords throughout B.C., including the following changes:
- A rental supplement paid directly to landlords of up to $500 per month for eligible households with dependents and up to $300 for eligible households without dependents. Apply via the BC Housing website.
- Rental increases are not permitted until after the state of emergency ends.
- Most evictions are not allowed during the state of emergency.
BC Hydro’s COVID-19 Relief Fund provides resources to residential and business customers, including:
- Up to three months of credit for residential customers who have stopped working due to COVID-19
- Up to three months of usage waived for small businesses closed during COVID-19
- The ability to defer payment with no penalty for residential customers who are still working
- The creation of a Customer Crisis Fund for customers facing disconnection
- Suspension of disconnections for non-payment during the state of emergency
The Government of B.C. created an emergency fund to assist many post-secondary students in B.C. (international students are not eligible at this time). An additional $1.5 million is available for Indigenous post-secondary students. The funds can be used for living expenses, food, travel, portable computers, and other supports for students who are not already able to study remotely.
Contact your school’s financial aid office for assistance with the application process.
One hundred food banks are in operation across the province. FoodBanksBC has a search option to help you find the location closest to you.