"The pub I work at just closed and for the past couple weeks my shifts have been disappearing. There's just no way I'll be able to make rent this month."
"My landlord sold my house in January and I’m being evicted at the end of this month. I’m unemployed with a dog and I’m being forced to move in with 3 other people, including someone else who is also unemployed, and another person who works in healthcare - specifically with elderly people. Even with the 4 of us together, we’re unsure if we’ll be able to pay rent. I can’t get evicted again!"
"I've been self isolating for a week after catching a cough. The financial support that was announced is great but it won't come in time..."
We’ve all been hearing stories like these regularly within the past few weeks on social media, in mutual aid groups, and from family and friends. Our Vancouver Tenants Union email inbox has been getting exponentially more emails like this since our call for an eviction moratorium. And the stories are still coming in after we won the moratorium! With 53% of Canadians living cheque to cheque and the new federal Employment Insurance benefits likely not coming in time, many of our members are desperate about being able to pay April’s rent.
It's great that we now have a moratorium on evictions until the crisis is over, but when that happens, people who have been out of work for months won't suddenly be able to afford to start paying months of back rent. Our government has called on tenants and landlords to work together, but we can’t count on every landlord being voluntarily understanding or charitable at this time or in the future.
So our next step is to prove to the powers that be how dire this situation is with hard numbers. If you know now or are worried that you won’t be able to make rent on April 1st, please add your name below so we can get a good count on how many people are at risk. We won’t share your name with anyone, but we will be posting regular updates of the number of signatories on social media in order to apply pressure to decision makers.
If you are comfortable with making your story public, we ask that you post on social media with the hashtag #bcrentcrisis and tag us @yvrtenantsunion on Twitter and @vancouvertenantsunion Facebook and Instagram so we can retweet or share your story. Personal stories are one of the most powerful ways of reaching people and changing their minds, and your participation can really propel this movement forward!
If you want to share your story but remain anonymous, you can email us at email@example.com and we’ll share your story anonymously.
If you are not currently unable to make rent for April 1st, you can still help by sending this to anyone you know who is at risk, and by promoting our campaign anywhere and any way you can!
In adding my name below, I attest that I am personally at risk of eviction as I am unable to pay rent on April 1st.
Your name and information will not be shared with any other organization or any government. We ask for your email address so we can keep you updated in case we hear about changes to policy or the way evictions are being processed during this crisis, and we'll also be updating you on the next steps in this campaign so you can effectively fight for your right to safe and secure housing in the middle of a global pandemic.