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The province has announced that low to moderate-income renters in BC can now access rent bank services to access interest-free loans in urgent situations.
According to a news release, rent banks can be used during unexpected interruptions to their income to cover rent or essential utilities.
“Rent banks are temporary solutions for some people in housing crisis,” explains David Eby, minister responsible for housing.
“While they are not the ultimate solution to affordable housing generally, the services rent banks offer are vital to prevent homelessness.”
The loans can also be used toward a damage deposit or the first month’s rent for those who have secured a place to live but cannot afford these fees.
BC Rent Bank, a project of the Vancity Community Foundation, is partnering with the Kamloops and District Elizabeth Fry Society – this will be on an interim basis until long-term partners are secured.
The bank was also supported by a $10 million investment from the provincial government.
“Rent banks are much more than lenders. We are very much focused on the whole person – the renter who is experiencing housing insecurity and financial shocks – and we are striving to care for their well-being beginning with stable and safe housing,” says Melissa Giles, project manager, BC Rent Bank.
To view a list of communities that are covered by the BC Rent Bank, or to apply, visit this link.