Tell Your MPP: Don’t Let This Health Crisis Also Become a Housing Crisis

While CERB and the eviction moratorium provided some relief, many tenants now face unaffordable rent arrears and repayment plans, putting significant stress on already tight budgets. As a result, more people will turn to food banks and are at an increased risk of eviction and homelessness.

Tell your MPP: Don’t let the COVID-19 health crisis also become a housing crisis. Implement a rent relief or forgiveness program to assist tenants facing eviction!

Send a Virtual Postcard | Why Rent Relief? | Recommendations for Change

Send a Virtual Postcard

You can send a “virtual postcard” to your MPP to let them know that rent relief is important to you with our easy-to-use tool below.

How to participate:

  1. Fill in your name, email address, and postal code. The tool will automatically find your MPP and their contact information based on your postal code, and will fill in your information in the template email.
  2. Remove the text that says ***DELETE THIS LINE*** and replace it with your own reasons as to why Ontario needs rent relief and how it would impact your household. You can use our key talking points below!
  3. Click “Add Your Voice” — that’s it!

Why Rent Relief?

Rent relief or forgiveness is a significant priority for food banks.

While the Canada Emergency Response Benefit and Ontario’s eviction ban helped to “flatten the curve” of food bank use, both of these supports are ending. Tenants now face unsustainable rent arrears that accumulated over the last six months of the pandemic that they must now repay, which puts significant stress on already-tight budgets.

Renters and social housing tenants make up 90% of Ontario’s food bank clientele. In a survey conducted by the Daily Bread Food Bank two months into the pandemic, 20% of tenants had stopped paying or were paying less in rent and/or utilities, and 34% reported that they would be unable to pay rent in 4-6 months if the crisis continued.

If this housing crisis is not addressed immediately, food banks expect a huge increase in demand for their services, as well as increased risk of evictions and homelessness.

Recommendations for Change

Feed Ontario and its network of food banks recommends the Government of Ontario immediately implement a rent relief or forgiveness program to assist tenants facing eviction.

In addition, Feed Ontario recommends the Government of Ontario:

  1. Provide all social assistance recipients with the COVID-19 top-up for at least 6 months after the economy has fully re-opened
  2. Overhaul Ontario’s social assistance programs so they function as an accessible and efficient means to help Ontarians move out of poverty
  3. Invest in a strong workforce and employment opportunities that benefit the people with changes to labour laws (including the reinstatement of paid sick days and an increase to minimum wage) and the expansion of the LIFT credit