London city council approves extra relief measures amid pandemic
Initiatives range from rent relief in city-owned properties to programs delivering fresh food to people
London city council has approved additional community relief measures to help Londoners with hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
During a brief council meeting Tuesday night, politicians voted unanimously to approve nine measures to provide people and businesses with extra support.
The initiatives range from rent relief in city-owned properties to more funding for programs delivering fresh food to people unable to leave their homes.
"This is an unprecedented situation that continues to have wide-reaching ramifications across all aspects of our society," said Mayor Ed Holder. "London families and businesses are counting on all levels of government to work closely together to address the financial impacts of COVID-19."
"We have responded by acting quickly, with the best interests of Londoners and businesses in mind, to identify local measures to provide immediate relief," he added.
Some of the measures require funding, while some don't. Funding will go to the following programs:
- $11,000 for the Good Food Box program, which provides fresh fruits and vegetables to 350 low-income households.
- $10,000 for the Harvest Bucks program, which are $2 vouchers used to buy fresh produce from local vendors.
- $325,000 for the Housing Stability Bank, which offers loans for rent arrears, first and last month's rent and utility to support low-income Londoners.
- $45,000 to expand the Rogers Connected for Success program to provide internet access to an additional 1,500 low-income households for $10 per month.
- $25,000 to community organizations to help coordinate the delivery of fresh food directly to people who are food insecure and unable to leave their homes.
Other measures include:
- Rent deferral for tenants of city-owned properties for 60 days.
- Extension of the remittance period for Municipal Accommodation Tax revenues.
- Extension of payment terms to 60 days for City of London invoices issued to customers in the months of May, June and July.
- Flexibility in loading, unloading and delivery times to support local businesses.
City officials said work to launch these measures will begin immediately.