COVID-19: Latest update on the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program
The Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA) provides forgivable loans to commercial property owners to cover up to 50% of rent payments payable by eligible small business tenants that are undergoing financial difficulties due to COVID-19. Under the program, the tenant must pay between 0% and 25% of their normal monthly gross rent and the government provides an additional 50%. Accordingly, property owners receive between 50% and 75% of the normal monthly rent and the remainder is forgiven. The property owner agrees not to evict the tenant during the months they receive funds from the program in return for the forgiveness of the government loans. Please visit COVID-19 Resources – Impact on Real Estate and Construction for more details on the CECRA program.
On September 8, 2020, the Government of Canada announced CECRA was being extended to cover September rent. CECRA originally covered the period from April to June 2020 and was previously extended to cover July and August rent.
Property owners and tenants that previously applied for and were approved for rent assistance for the periods of April to August can now opt-in for September without providing additional documents or assessing whether their tenants’ revenue declined in September by at least 70%.
Payments will be calculated based on the average gross rents in the April to June period for which supporting documentation was submitted. Property owners can select the individual tenants to whom they want to apply the extension from the original application. Additional tenants may not be added.
New applicants can apply for rent relief for the April to August periods all at once. If this initial application is pre-approved, they can then opt-in for September.
Property owners can submit a new application or opt-in for September through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). The deadline for new applications is September 30, 2020, and the deadline for September opt-ins is October 30, 2020.
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