This submission was made to the BC government Rental Housing Task Force to recommend controlling rental costs in British Columbia and specific measures for BC’s Residential Tenancy Act. We believe that bold action to control rental costs must be a central component of a comprehensive and effective poverty reduction plan, and that this issue is among the greatest threats not only to BC's proposed poverty reduction plan but to the government’s overall policy agenda. Given escalating housing costs, there is a grave risk that all the improvements and gains experienced for low-income people from minimum wage increases, welfare rate increases, child care fee reductions and more will be wiped out by rent increases. We have strongly recommended that the provincial government introduce stronger tenant protections including tighter limits on annual rent increases, tying rent control to the unit (not the tenant), and strengthening the application and enforcement of the Residential Tenancy Act.
July 3, 2018