Victoria – BCNPHA congratulates the Rental Housing Task Force for undertaking a comprehensive review of the Residential Tenancy Act in the midst of a housing crisis. The recommendations it contains offer a robust framework for ensuring that tenancy laws and processes in the province are fair and balanced for both renters and landlords.
“The recommendations strike the appropriate balance between the needs of tenants and landlords,” said Jill Atkey, CEO of BCNPHA. “With a severe shortage of affordable rental housing, rents have increased exponentially and we have heard too many stories of renters being taken advantage of. At the same time, a lack of affordable rental supply has created the crisis and we need to ensure a healthy rental supply for tenants at all income levels while protecting what’s already in place.”
BCNPHA is particularly pleased the Task Force heard the non-profit sector, and we look forward to working with the Province to ensure that the Act is modernized to address the specific needs of the non-profit housing sector, including supportive housing providers in their efforts to set guest policies and conduct wellness checks. Proposed initiatives like the provincial rent bank, working with municipalities to develop tenant compensation and relocation plans, and strengthened measures to end bad-faith evictions will help support thousands of low- and moderate-income renters across the province. BCNPHA also recognizes that the Task Force recommendations alone are not sufficient to end the affordability crisis affecting most communities in BC.
According to the Canadian Rental Housing Index released earlier this year, nearly 123,000 renter households in the province earn less than $30,000 and spend over half of their income on housing costs (compiled from 2016 census data). To address this crisis, sustained efforts from all levels of government and the community housing sector must be directed toward building more affordable housing supply.
The task force is led by the Premier’s advisor on residential tenancy, MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, along with MLAs Adam Olsen and Ronna-Rae Leonard. Recommendations will be forwarded to Premier John Horgan and Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister Selena Robinson for review. The report is available here.