The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated working people and their incomes. The jobs lost during the lock down have been disproportionately low-paying jobs held by vulnerable renters. Thousands of renters have already missed paying some or all of their rents over the last few months, and have no prospect for continued income in a global economic depression.
With the government income supports drying up and states of emergency being lifted, thousands are at the risk of losing their homes. Those who don't have enough for rent and basic necessities are ending up in rent debt. Many have signed rent deferral arrangements with their landlords, and face substantial pressure to pay additional amounts on top of their rent. Some have lost roommates and are on the hook for their portion of the rent as well, or are facing existing eviction notices with nowhere to go.
I call on the BC Government to make renters whole by:
1. Immediately reinstating the ban on evictions and extending freeze on rent increases until the end of pandemic
2. Laying out a plan to cancel existing eviction notices and rent debt accrued before and during the pandemic