YOUR VOTE 2017: BC NDP promises renter’s rebate if elected

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The BC NDP is pledging to introduce a $400 annual rebate for renters if the party wins next month’s provincial election. The New Democrats are also promising to make other changes to the Residential Tenancy Act.

The argument, NDP Leader John Horgan is putting forward, is that many property owners get the homeowner’s grant, so why not renters?

“For the past 16 years the BC Liberals have been ignoring renters. They’ve refused to fix the fix-term lease loophole that has allowed landlords to increase rents beyond what is reasonable. We’re going to block that loophole.”

The $400 grant would be per unit, not per tenant and all renters in BC would be eligible regardless of their income. Horgan is also promising to end what he calls loopholes that allow landlords to hike rents after a fixed-term lease.

Horgan says his government, if elected, would tweak the Residential Tenancy Act to make it more accessible, and also address the problem of “renovictions,” where landlords use renovations as an excuse to evict tenants and sidestep restrictions around rent increases.

A lack of affordable rental options, especially, in the Lower Mainland has been an ongoing issue — given the region’s hot housing market.

Back in February, statistics from a local blog, looking at rental prices in cities nation-wide, found Vancouver was at the top of the list.

PadMapper claimed a one-bedroom apartment in the city costs up to $1,900 a month to rent, followed by Toronto, Victoria, Montreal and Ottawa. If you think that’s bad for a one-bedroom suite — two bedrooms in Vancouver will apparently set you back more than $3,100.

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