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B.C. government forms Rental Housing Task Force

Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert to lead three-person task force
Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert is heading up the Rental Housing Task Force. Photo Ch
Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert is heading up the Rental Housing Task Force. Photo Chung Chow

Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert will head up a new Rental Housing Task Force.

Premier John Horgan made the announcement April 10.

The task force will focus on how to improve security and fairness for renters and landlords in the province.

In Vancouver, vacancy rates have hovered close to zero and renters have long struggled to find suitable housing at reasonable rates.

“Our laws haven’t kept up with the changing housing market, and that has left both renters and landlords vulnerable,” Horgan was quoted as saying in a press release Tuesday. “This task force will connect with British Columbians, review laws in other jurisdictions and deliver the first full review of our residential tenancy laws in 16 years.”

The task force will work throughout the summer to look into what further changes may be needed to modernize B.C.’s tenancy Law,  including:

  • Consulting the public, landlords, tenants and stakeholders on their views and experiences with current tenancy laws and processes within the rental industry
  • Identifying options to improve security and fairness for both renters and landlords, while addressing the challenges of affordability
  • A review of the existing laws and how they apply to different housing models
  • A review of innovative approaches in other jurisdictions.

Herbert will work with MLAs Adam Olsen and Ronna-Rae Leonard on the three-member task force.

It will report findings and make recommendations to Horgan and Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, in the fall of 2018.

“One-and-a-half million British Columbians rent. For too long, issues of security, affordability and fairness have been ignored, with the voices of renters and landlords sidelined,” Herbert said in the press release. “We need to bring renters, landlords and all those who care about rental housing to the table to improve our tenancy laws so they work better for everyone. It’s time.”

— More to come