B.C. caps rent increases at 2%, boosts climate tax credit and family benefit as cost of living soars

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The B.C. government announced new measures Wednesday that are meant to address the escalating cost of living in the province. (Shutterstock - image credit)
The B.C. government announced new measures Wednesday that are meant to address the escalating cost of living in the province. (Shutterstock - image credit)

The provincial government is capping allowable rent increases for 2023 at two per cent and boosting the next Climate Action Tax Credit and B.C. Family Benefit in an attempt to help address cost increases caused by rising inflation.

Premier John Horgan and Finance Minister Selina Robinson announced the plan at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon.

"People with lower incomes and people raising children are the most affected by the cost increases we're seeing around the world," Robinson said in a news release.

"These measures are our next steps in helping to support those who need it most."

The province says the two per cent rent cap for next year will replace the current cap equal to inflation.

Housing Minister Murray Rankin said the government recognizes that property owners are also affected by inflation, and it's "committed to ensuring that landlords can make the necessary repairs and upgrades to their rental units so they can provide housing for years to come."

The Climate Action Tax Credit for low- and moderate-income B.C. residents will be increased by up to $164 per adult and $41 per child, and the family benefit, formerly known as the Child Opportunity Benefit, will jump by up to $58.33 for each child per month for January, February and March.

No application is necessary to receive the temporary increases, which will cost the province an estimated $600 million in all.

The province says it's also working with B.C. Hydro on additional measures to help people with their expenses.