Applications open for fed’s new commercial rent relief program

Applications are now being accepted for the revised Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, with claims retroactive to September 27

A number of storefronts closed during pandemic | Photo: Chung Chow

On Monday, November 23, the federal government began accepting applications for its revised Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy that will provide rent assistance to commercial real estate tenants.

A key change in the rent subsidy is that tenants can apply for the aid directly, without the need for their landlord’s support, as was required under the former Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance.

“These measures are designed to help businesses get through the second wave of the virus so they can protect jobs, continue to serve their communities, and be positioned for a strong recovery,” according to a statement from deputy Prime Minister and finance minister, Chrystia Freeland.

The business supports include:

• The new Canada Emergency Rent Subsidy, which provides direct access to rent and mortgage interest support to tenants and property owners until June 2021 for qualifying organizations affected by COVID-19. The new rent subsidy would support businesses, charities, and non-profits that have suffered a pandemic-induced revenue drop by providing support up to a maximum of 65 per cent of eligible expenses until December 19, 2020. The government is proposing to allow claims retroactively for the period that began September 27 and ended October 24, 2020.

The government will adapt and target the aid after December 19.

• The new Lockdown Support, which provides an additional 25 per cent qualifying organizations that had to shut their doors or significantly limit their activities under a public health order. Combined, this would mean that hard-hit businesses subject to a lockdown could receive rent support of up to 90 per cent.

Ottawa’s previous commercial rent relief program required a buy-in from landlords, but some landlords did not apply for the assistance on behalf of their tenants. The new program provides the direct subsidy to tenants for eligible fixed property expenses, including rent.

Western Investor