MAPLE RIDGE – NDP MLAs Bob D’Eith and Lisa Beare are welcoming a new rent bank that is now open and accessible to low- to moderate-income households in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.
A rent bank is a homelessness prevention tool that helps to provide housing stability for renters in low- to moderate-income households, who are unable to pay rent or utilities due to unanticipated expenses or emergencies. Rent banks provide small, interest-free loans to renters who have the ability to repay the loans over a six- to 24-month period.
“The rent bank is another tool to help us reduce homelessness,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge–Mission. “Along with building more housing that people can afford, our New Democrat government is helping people to stay in their homes as they deal with emergencies or face barriers.”
“Dealing with an unexpected expense is difficult for a lot of families, especially during the pandemic,” said Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows. “The new rent bank will provide much-needed support while people work to overcome those challenges.”
Rent banks complement loans with access to other information and supports – including financial advice, mediations between renters and landlords, or access to other community supports and services.
Maple Ridge’s new rent bank will receive seed funding for their first year of operations from BC Rent Bank, providing the organization the time it needs to acquire partner investors and secure its financial sustainability plan.
Since our BC NDP government established BC Rent Bank in June 2019, the rent bank network in the province has doubled from seven and will increase to 16 rent banks by January 2021. Renters can find rent banks in: Burnaby; Central Okanagan (Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country, Peachland); Fraser Valley (Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, Hope, Agassiz, Harrison), Thompson-Nicola (Kamloops, Merritt, Chase, Clearwater); Maple Ridge; the Nanaimo Region; New Westminster; North Vancouver; Pitt Meadows; Prince George; Richmond; Sunshine Coast; Surrey (Surrey, White Rock, Delta); Langley (Township and City); Tri-Cities (Anmore, Belcarra, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody); and Vancouver.
Rent banks may not be an option for renters who do not have any income source or capacity to repay a loan. Renters should check with their local rent bank for details on how to qualify for a rent bank loan.
BC Rent Bank is a project of Vancity Community Foundation and funded by the Province of B.C.
For more information or to find your local rent bank, visit http://bcrentbank.ca.