March 26, 2020
Hon. Steve Clark
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
777 Bay St. Toronto,ON M5G 2E5
Re: Premier Ford’s Statement on Providing Immediate Rent Relief for Tenants
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
Toronto – St. Paul’s