Written by a representative for Parry Sound-Muskoka MPP Norm Miller
Yesterday the Federal Government opened up applications for the Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (OCECRA). Norm Miller, MPP for Parry Sound-Muskoka, is encouraging landlords to apply for this program in order to help their small business tenants survive COVID-19.
“I have heard from a number of businesses that are worried they won’t survive this pandemic without some rent relief,” Miller said. “I know some landlords have already reduced rent or made other arrangements with their tenants and I thank them for that. I hope with the launch of this program more landlords will do their part to help their tenants and our communities.”
Ontario has committed $241 million to partner with the Federal Government to deliver more than $900 million in urgent relief to small businesses and their landlords through OCECRA.
The program must be accessed by landlords by visiting the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation website.
Since the program was first proposed some updates have been made including:
- Landlords who do not have a mortgage on commercial property are now eligible to apply.
- Businesses with multiple locations and who pay no more than $50,000 in gross monthly rent per location are now eligible.
- The program will now cover gross rent including property tax, utilities and other fees.
The OCECRA program will provide forgivable loans to eligible commercial property owners experiencing potential rent shortfalls because their small business tenants have been negatively impacted by COVID-19. To receive the loan, property owners will be required to reduce the rental costs to small business tenants from April to June 2020 by 75 per cent and commit to a moratorium on evictions for three months.
The loans will cover 50 per cent of the monthly gross rent owed by impacted small business tenants during April, May and June 2020 and will be applied retroactively. The tenant will be asked to pay no more than 25 per cent of their gross monthly rent and the property owner will be responsible for 25 per cent.
“I understand this will be a strain on landlords as well but as the Premier has said 75 per cent of the rent is a lot better than no rent which is what the landlord could face if their small business tenants go out of business,” Miller said. “And in small communities like ours, helping these small business tenants also means helping their employees and the community as a whole so I ask that landlords apply to this program.”
Note: The statement from Miller’s office included the line, “Ontario has committed $241 million to partner with the Federal Government to deliver more than $9000 million in urgent relief to small businesses and their landlords through OCECRA.” This statement has been changed to reflect the correct total for the government’s combined investment, which is $900 million.