Vancouver’s housing crisis does more than stretch budgets and drive families apart.
It makes people vulnerable - vulnerable to the market, and vulnerable to bad landlords who understand that their tenants may not have any other options.
We have a plan to change that - and strengthen community power.
Tenants in Vancouver are at the mercy of the housing shortage. This gives bad landlords power.
We want the city to have tenants’ backs.
We’ll turn the Renters’ Office - which, right now, mostly provides information - into a Tenant Advocacy Office, with a mandate to advocate for renters facing renovictions, demovictions or evictions without proper cause.
It would also be responsible for strengthening the city’s enforcement mechanisms, to ensure bad landlords are held accountable - and maintain a registry of historic rental prices, so tenants know if they’re being ripped off.
Many communities in Vancouver have faced discriminatory land use policies - but, in the face of this discrimination, have built cultural hubs and small businesses that they rely on and value.
We’ll work with local business and community leaders to find ways the city can protect the services that neighbourhoods rely on.
We need more rental housing. But that housing should, where possible, not displace incumbent renters.
We’ll protect existing rental housing by prioritizing development applications that do not displace renters, ending all incentives to displace renters, and providing a rental top-up to ensure that tenants maintain a roof over their head.
The vicious housing shortage of Vancouver has many victims. The most visible victims are the people living in tents in our parks and streets.
It is abhorrent and inhuman that, in one of the greenest, most progressive and most prosperous cities in North America, people should be forced to live in tents.
We will build temporary modular housing on public land to house those who are homeless and those who are at risk of homelessness, until suitable and safe permanent housing is found.
People should never again be forced to live in tents in Vancouver.
The city can do much on its own.
But to do more, we need the province to act to strengthen our communities: by tying rent to the unit, not the tenant, by ensuring that all future public assistance goes directly to renters, and by creating legislation to legally recognize tenant unions and regulate those unions’ relationships with landlords.
Michael lives in an old apartment building in Fairview. Because he has lived there for so long, unlike those looking for housing today, his rents are affordable. But he’s watched the market climb year after year. Michael’s landlord is attempting to “renovict” him to bolster their bottom line - but thanks to the support provided by the Tenant Advocacy Office, Michael can fight back.
Monina owns a Filipino restaurant in Joyce-Collingwood. Serving the huge lineup of people that come to her restaurant for lunch after church is the highlight of her week - but each and every day she loves chatting with the folks coming in to buy fresh Pandesal or even a Balikbayan box for the folks back home. However, her landlord has recently started hinting to her that she might want to start looking for another location - because he wants to command higher rent. Monina decided to stand up for herself and reached out the City of Vancouver - who intervened to protect this critical small business and cultural hub.
When their building was acquired by a professional property management company looking to attract wealthier renters, Jonas, Wesley and Mark were all facing eviction notices. On the modern rental market, thanks to the housing shortage, wherever they looked they would be outbid by wealthier renters - and faced being driven out of Vancouver.
But instead of sitting down, they stood up, and formed a tenants’ union to demand their rights. New legislation championed by the City of Vancouver allowed them to collectively bargain with their building’s new owner.