Stand Up For Renters is calling for changes to the rental market
A group advocating for renters in BC is asking the province to take action and protect renters.
Stand Up For Renters is launching their campaign today to ask the Premier to implement the recommendations made in the fall 2018 Rental Taskforce report.
Campaign organizer, Glyn Lewis, says housing in BC is unaffordable, not just for buyers, but renters as well.
"It's making life really hard, especially for young professionals, but also people who are middle income and low income. So that's the affordability crisis that we're facing right now, and we really believe that the Provincial Government has a duty to step up, and look at ways to make the housing supply, specifically the rental supply, better for all British Columbians."
He says the government should implement all the recommendations from the report, instead of picking and choosing select few like they have so far.
"For example, there's a power that right now exists that allows strata councils to ban outright rentals. The situation that me and my partner are in, is that she has moved in with me, she owns a place in a strata building, and she can't rent her strata place, her unit. So basically, she's moved in with me, but her place is sitting empty right now."
Lewis says if the recommendations from the report were implemented, these rules could be abolished, freeing up more rental units across the market.
He adds that the report also has recommendations around renovictions, which continue to cause grief for renters, especially low income or elderly renters.
"The building owner comes along, they say they want to replace the sink. They push them out, and then they jack up the rental because that's what the market will allow them to do. In the meantime, you;ve got a senior who's been living in this place for 20, 30 years, and all of a sudden, where are they going to live? The rental supply is close to zero, and the rates are 2000, 2500, 3000 for a unit. Are you telling me a senior is going to be able to afford that? So these renovictions are crazy, and I believe that's one of the recommendations that were made by the taskforce."
Lewis says the government needs to step up and take action, in order to create more housing options for British Columbians.