Financial assistance program to enable tenants to pay their rent during the COVID-19 pandemic - Société d'habitation du Québec

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Financial assistance program to enable tenants to pay their rent during the COVID-19 pandemic

The Financial assistance program to enable tenants to pay their rent during the COVID-19 pandemic is intended to temporarily support tenants who do not have enough money to pay all or part of their rent for May and/or June because they have lost their job as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This program is being applied across Quebec, with the exception of Indian reserves. It allows tenants to take out an interest-free loan of up to $1,500 to pay all or part of their rent for May and/or June 2020.

The financial assistance is paid directly to landlords.

Eligibility

A person is eligible if they are:

  • an individual;
  • a resident of Quebec;
  • receiving or eligible to receive the Canada Emergency Response Benefit or Employment Insurance benefits from the Government of Canada in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  • a tenant of an eligible housing. This means that they must have a lease that was in effect on May 1, 2020, at the time of their application.

Housing eligibility

A housing is eligible if it is used as the main residence of the eligible person.

A housing is not eligible if:

  • it is in a low-income housing (HLM) unit; or
  • it is subsidized by the Société d’habitation du Québec (SHQ) through the Rent Supplement Program.

Financial assistance and loan repayment

The financial assistance provided to tenants by the SHQ is in the form of a lump sum loan of up to $1,500.

This financial assistance is paid directly to landlords.

Tenants agree to repay the loan to the SHQ not later than August 1, 2021.

  • No interest will be collected on the loan until August 1, 2021.
  • Starting on August 2, 2021, interest will be applied at the rate established by law.

To benefit from this program

Tenants must fill out the SHQ loan form not later than July 15, 2020.

If a lease has been signed by more than one tenant, each tenant may submit an application. In all cases where there is more than one tenant on the lease, the amount of the maximum lump sum loan is divided by the number of tenants on the lease, even if the other tenants have not submitted an application. Therefore, only the part of the loan of the tenant or tenants who have submitted an application will be paid to the landlord.

The application must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • A signed copy of the lease in effect for the housing occupied by the tenant on May 1, 2020.
  • A copy of the lease amendment notice (in effect for the period in question), if applicable.
  • A copy of relevé 31 – Renseignements sur l’occupation d’un lodgement (RL-31 slip, in French only) for the tenant who occupied the eligible housing on December 31, 2019.
  • A copy of a valid identification document with photo issued by a government authority in Quebec (e.g. driver’s licence, health insurance card) or Canada (e.g. permanent resident card), or in another province or territory of Canada.

Make sure to scan or photograph your supporting documents before filling out the form; they must be attached to your application.

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Loan payment

The landlord will receive the financial assistance in a single payment after having been informed of the tenant’s application and having provided the SHQ with the required information for the deposit. They must agree to use the amount received solely as payment for the rent of the person who obtained the loan; as well, if the payment is greater than the amount of rent to be covered, the landlord agrees to give the surplus back to the person who obtained the loan.

For more information

If you want more information about the Financial assistance program to enable tenants to pay their rent during the COVID-19 pandemic, contact the SHQ customer service centre at 1-800-463-4315, or send an email to programmepretcovid@shq.gouv.qc.caCourriel.