The provincial government is being urged to increase the subsidies available in its rental assistance program and extend the time the funding is available.

Landlords BC says the current benefit to help renters during the COVID-19 crisis is “inadequate for a vast majority of renters.”

The group also says eligibility requirements are leaving many renters behind.

Landlords BC says that starting on May 1 the rental supplement should be increased from five-hundred dollars to 750 dollars per month, and up to one-thousand dollars a month for renters with dependents.

It also says the BC Government should remove the income test and extend the program through to August.

Landlords BC says about one-third of all Canadian households are renting and statistics show a significant proportion of renters are spending 30 to 50 percent of their household income on rent and utilities.

The group is also disappointed that the federal government has no plan to introduce its own assistance plan for renters.

Landlords BC says a federal rent supplement program would have “significantly mitigated the harm both renters and rental housing providers have suffered and would have made unnecessary many of the legislative measures most provinces enacted that have further exacerbated the situation.”

It says “a robust residential rent supplement program” would have kept the rental housing ecosystem continuing to function normally.