The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing is listening to the concerns of renters and taking action on an early recommendation from B.C.’s Rental Housing Task Force by cutting the annual allowable rent increase by 2%, limiting it to inflation. That means that effective Jan. 1, 2019, the annual allowable rent increase will be 2.5%.
“It’s simply not sustainable for renters, many of whom are on fixed incomes, to see their rent increase by more than inflation each and every year,” said Premier John Horgan. “We have to eliminate the risk of such huge increases for renters. Our new approach strikes a balance between giving relief to renters while encouraging people to maintain their rental properties.”
The previous formula, set in 2004, allowed annual rent increases of 2% plus inflation.
As a result of eliminating the additional 2% increase, people living in a $1,200 per month apartment (average rent in B.C.) could save up to $288 in 2019 over what they could have paid under the old formula. People in an average two-bedroom apartment in Vancouver could have faced paying up to $432 more over the course of the year.
The Residential Tenancy Branch will work closely with landlord advocacy groups on expanded circumstances under which landlords could apply for an additional rent increase to reflect the costs of maintaining their rental properties.
The Rental Housing Task Force is made up of
- Spencer Chandra Herbert, MLA for Vancouver-West End;
- Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands; and
- Ronna-Rae Leonard, MLA for Courtney-Comox.
They have conducted in-person and online consultations about renting in B.C. and will be releasing further recommendations on ways to modernize and improve B.C. residential tenancy laws and policies later this year.
Making life more affordable is a shared priority between government and the B.C. Green Party caucus, and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
- The new rent-increase limits are part of the many actions the B.C. government is taking to help renters.
- British Columbia’s 30-point housing plan includes a record $7 billion over 10 years to create new affordable rental housing throughout the province.
- The Province has closed a fixed-term lease loophole that resulted in people being unfairly evicted and stopped geographic rent increases that were unfairly driving up rents in some neighbourhoods.
- Starting this month, the Province expanded the eligibility and increased the assistance to low-income families and seniors through the Rental Assistance Program and the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters.
- The speculation tax also encourages people with multiple homes in urban areas to rent them out, instead of letting them sit vacant.
More information for renters and landlords can be found here.
- Rental Housing Task Force recommends cut to annual rent increase cap
- Maximum allowable rent increase set at 4.5% for 2019
On affordable housing
- The aging face of homelessness in North American cities
- B.C. government invests in new homes for Indigenous peoples in Langford
- Affordable rental homes on the way in Sooke (244 units) and Langford (250 units)
- New affordable homes, child care spaces on the way for people in Langford
- Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the annual allowable rent increase will be 2.5%.
- Letter: Compassion is needed, as many with homes are also one paycheque away from being homeless
- Rapid response to homelessness sees 2,000 modular homes built in BC
- Homelessness in Sooke: It exists
- Members of Affordable Housing Committee appointed
- District seeks membership for the Affordable Housing Committee
- Over 2,000 rental units coming to the CRD, with some attention to affordability
- Breaking ground on new rental homes for people in Colwood
- Victoria: Planned supportive short-term housing for Indigenous women facing homelessness
- 2018 Budget: Housing advocates welcome historic investments in affordable housing
- Housing strategy calls for action to diversify supply, manage demand & prevent homelessness
- Anxiety over housing, homelessness and poverty rises in British Columbia
- Council to consider bylaw amendment in January, allowing mobile homes on residential lots
- More than 1,000 modular homes now confirmed throughout B.C.
- Message from the Mayor: Affordable housing has been addressed for years (media is late to the party), and she wants to hear your ideas
- CTV covers the housing-boom/housing-crisis irony in Sooke
- Housing challenges for Sooke construction workers now; affordability committee can happen in Feb or March 2018
- National Housing Day solicits hope for affordable housing within the next decade
- Council expresses discomfort with the usage of the term, “affordable housing”
- From fires to fentanyl, from homes to homelessness, Horgan’s UBCM keynote covered the gamut
- Second co-housing project in Sooke deemed affordable, good to go
- Throne Speech: Affordability, improved services and economy are top BC priorities
- Victoria housing crisis threatens family unity
- Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness survey
- Ten townhouses coming to Ayre Road
- Regular Council meeting overview June 26