Tenants and landlords struggling financially because of COVID-19 can now apply to the Nipissing District Rent Recovery Bank.
Low Income People Involvement of Nipissing (LIPI) and Near North Landlords’ Association (NNLA) are supporting the joint initiative.
LIPI Executive Director Lana Mitchell says they’re accepting applications from both tenants with rent or utility arrears, and landlords dealing with rent arrears.
“We need to get past crisis, so we need to try to get back to normal as much as we can and make sure we support people to be able to get there,” she says.
Both landlord and tenant are required to agree to take part.
“One-third of the arrears are written off by the landlord, one-third of the arrears are paid by the tenant and one-third are paid by us in partnership with the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board (DNSSAB),” Mitchell says.
She says after providing the assistance they track rent payments for a few months then landlords are asked to forgive their third.
Mitchell says a lot of landlords who are dealing with rent arrears right now are looking at their options.
“They’re looking at just selling their units because of how the housing market is right now and getting out of the rental business. But, we don’t have a lot of private rental housing in the community, we’re actually quite short of rental housing in the community and throughout the district. We want to make sure we can protect and keep what little we have,” she says.
Mitchell says they have other programs that can help too.
“We also started a utility bank, so there’s help with utilities too, and we have a program with the city, a tax program. If people are behind on their taxes that can be addressed as well,” she says.
Applications for the rent bank are located online at LIPInipissing.com.
Appointments are available for tenants and landlords without computer access, call 705-472-1337.