Rent Support for University/College Students and Their Landlords

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Canadian students have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Prior to the outbreak, many out-of-town students have signed lease agreements for properties near their universities or colleges for the upcoming school year. Most students have lost their jobs and will not be able to find summer employment. While the CESB and CERB are helpful, they will only account for a percentage of what students would have earned had we been able to work this summer. We expected to earn enough money to pay for our tuition and cover rent and living expenses. Students are no longer able to earn this money.

Renting residential housing for university students is a business for landlords. Unfortunately, Canadian universities and colleges have canceled in-person classes for the fall semester. Given the circumstances, many students are unable to pay for rental units, which, in many cases, they will not even occupy. The Canadian government has introduced the CECRA program that supports commercial landlords and their tenants during the pandemic. This program allows the landlord and tenant to cover 25% of the rent each, while the government covers the remaining 50%.

We request that CECRA be extended to cover student housing while university campuses are closed, and education is offered online.