Mayor urges Council support for better renter protections

Mayor Gregor Robertson is urging Vancouver City Council to support new recommendations from the City’s Renters’ Advisory Committee that identify provincial changes needed to better protect renters.
 
“I want to thank the City’s Renters’ Advisory Committee for their extensive, thoughtful research into the changes necessary to better protect Vancouver renters,” said Mayor Robertson. “With more than half of Vancouver households renting and vacancy rates at record lows, it can be extremely challenging for Vancouver renters out there.
 
“I look forward to their presentation next week and urge Council to support moving forward on their advocacy recommendations.”
 
City Council approved a motion in April 2015 asking the Renters’ Advisory Committee to review and report back on potential changes to the Residential Tenancy Act to better protect renters and support affordable housing, so as to ensure the City is focusing on priority renter issues.
 
Some of the recommendations include:

  • Waiving dispute resolution fees for low-income tenants
  • Providing translation for dispute resolution hearings
  • Creating a mandatory minimum penalty on landlords who break the law when evicting tenants
  • Limiting rent increases when fixed-term tenancies end
  • Increasing from 2 to 3 months the notice required for a tenant to leave a property due to renovations

“There is a rental housing crisis in this city, and with renters making up half of Vancouver’s households the time to take action is now,” said Alvin Singh, Chair of the Renters’ Advisory Committee. “Our report is the latest in a long line of recommendations to improve the situation of renters here and across BC and now it’s up to the province to take action. The ball is in their court.”
 
Establishing a renters’ advisory committee was a 2014 election campaign promise from Mayor Robertson. Its mandate is to advise Council on strategic city priorities relating to renters, to monitor and respond to the impacts of provincial and federal legislation affecting tenants, and to advise Council on enhancing access and inclusion for renters in developing city policy and civic life.
 
The report can be read here:
http://former.vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20151117/documents/cfsc3.pdf