High Number of CERB Applications Underlines Need for Additional Support

Just 24 hours after the new federal aid benefit started accepting applications from people who’ve lost their income as a result of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic, 794,725 Canadians have already applied. Another sign of historic levels of devastation is further illustrated by additional numbers released yesterday by the government. More than three million Canadians have applied for jobless benefits and emergency income aid with the federal government since mid-March.

The enormous numbers of Canadians who need financial assistance underlines the need for additional support, to ensure continued housing and health protections.

The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) will provide successful applicants with $2,000 a month, for four months. However, not everyone is eligible. Applicants must have earned at least $5,000 in the past 12 months or in 2019 as a whole and must be out of work for reasons directly related to the pandemic.

To bolster this, several provinces are already working on additional measures to keep people housed and to protect their health. In British Columbia, a new temporary rent supplement will provide up to $500 per month, paid directly to landlords. Prince Edward Island is also introducing a new temporary rent supplement, to provide $1,000 per household to help cover the cost of rent for a three-month period. Eligible Islanders will receive $500 in the first month and $250 the following two months.

Temporary rental supplement programs have not yet been offered in the provinces that are home to Avenue Living’s 20,000+ residents – Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

In order to advocate for all renters across the Prairie provinces, Avenue Living has engaged with Prairie Sky Strategy – a multi-faceted, Canadian, strategy, public affairs, stakeholder relations and business development consulting firm focused on Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba.

Given Prairie Sky Strategy’s long track record in providing consulting services in government relations, lead by former politicians across the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba political parties, this relationship will allow Avenue Living to work on best efforts, together with the Government to provide their solution on potential rent supplement programs for the provinces in which Avenue Living operates.

Avenue Living also has a strong relationship with Brad Wall, the former Premier of Saskatchewan, who acts as a special advisor to Avenue Living.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a crisis unlike anything ever experienced. We are in it together, even as we fight it from a safe distance from one another.

At Avenue Living, we believe it’s our Duty of Care to ensure our valued residents and team members, as well as investors, have the best options possible during this unprecedented time. And we will pursue the best outcome to keep everyone healthy, both financially and personally.

Please also note that Avenue Living has been proactively communicating the latest updates from the Government to our residents, in addition to providing information to them about the Government’s decision to stager the days one can apply based on their birth month. Our efforts in communicating these support programs early on to our residents is to allow them to get ahead of the application process, as well as to support them in whatever way we can.

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