Councillor Josh Matlow

Letter to Minister Clark on Premier Ford’s Statement on Providing Immediate Rent Relief for Tenants

March 26, 2020

Hon. Steve Clark
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
17th Floor
777 Bay St. Toronto,ON M5G 2E5

Re: Premier Ford’s Statement on Providing Immediate Rent Relief for Tenants

Minister Clark,

I am writing to seek clarification on Premier Ford’s comment regarding support for Ontario tenants during the COVID – 19 crisis. In a press conference earlier today, the Premier stated, “If you can’t pay rent, and you’re in a crisis, you don’t have to pay rent”. Mr. Ford also made it clear that if you have a job and are able to pay rent, don’t take advantage.

This announcement is welcome and reassuring news to the hundreds of thousands of renters in Ontario, including my Toronto-St. Paul’s Ward, that have lost their jobs and are worried about being unable to pay their rent on April 1st.

I have received a number of questions in the hours since the Premier’s statement that I am seeking clarification on from you, including:

• Will April rent, and subsequent month’s rent until the COVID – 19 crisis subsides, be waived or deferred? I am concerned that deferral will only delay financial crises and a resulting spike in homelessness.
• Is there a specific program that Landlords can apply for to offset their lost rent?

I look forward to your response to these questions. Thank you to the Premier and your government for supporting Ontario’s tenants during this difficult time.

Councillor Josh Matlow
City Councillor
Toronto – St. Paul’s

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