On Tuesday April 10th, B.C. Premier John Horgan announced the formation of a new task force to look at rental housing. The task force will be chaired by Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert. The task force also includes Green Party MLA Adam Olsen and the NDP’s Ronna-Rae Leonard, who will report back to Premier John Horgan and Housing Minister Selina Robinson by the fall. The task force will look at a broad range of issues including rental-only re-zoning, renovictions, tenancy laws and other issues for both landlords and renters. LandlordBC welcomes the formation of this task force and has been invited by the province to help develop the scope of the study. We look forward to providing detailed, constructive input on behalf of our industry to the task force.
The task force “will advise on how to improve security and fairness for renters and landlords throughout the province,” the government said in their announcement.
“Our laws haven’t kept up with the changing housing market, and that has left both renters and landlords vulnerable,” Premier Horgan said in the statement. “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.”
LandlordBC is respected by government for its professionalism and thoughtful and constructive policy input. We had been advised by the government of their intentions to strike the task force in advance of the announcement, and await the full terms of reference. We look forward to collaborating with Chair Spencer Chandra Herbert and his task force colleagues throughout the process to ensure that any recommendations coming out of this task force do not undermine our ability to maintain a balanced and healthy rental housing market. Our industry currently provides homes for over 30% of BC households and that percentage continues to expand as housing availability and affordability becomes more challenging for a growing number of British Columbians. We are especially concerned about the chronic shortage of a purpose-built rental housing. The development of this housing typology has been totally neglected for over three decades and remains extremely challenging to build due to high land and construction costs and, the absence of appropriate incentives and support from all levels of government. That has to change.
As a landlord you will have a chance to participate directly in this task force through an online portal and direct submissions to the task force. LandlordBC will be leading the advancement of our industry’s concerns and recommendations leveraging our positive relationship with the government. To our members, please watch for LandlordBC’s e-newsletters and other communication material in the coming weeks to learn how you can make your concerns know to the task force. To all other landlords, please follow us on social media and visit our website NEWS section for regular updates. We would obviously welcome your support as a member too.
We will be looking to engage all our members and the broader rental housing industry to make sure the task force hears our concerns, loud and clear. Thank you in advance for your active participation. This task force will be an opportunity to ensure British Columbia has a strong and vibrant rental housing industry so that we can continue to deliver safe, secure, sustainable rental housing.