The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver increased 20% from $1,740 to $2,090 in the past year alone (from July 2016 to July 2017). This now exceeds the entire income of someone working full-time at the minimum wage -- about $1839 a month ($11.35/hour on Sept 15). People have nothing left for eating out, buying clothes, or otherwise contributing to the local economy.
If rents continue to increase 20% annually for four years, the average one-bedroom will cost $4,350 by the 2021 civic elections. Vancouver needs a Rent Freeze now. Therefore, we the undersigned, are calling on the Vancouver City Council to:
Declare a “Housing State of Emergency”and officially support a 0% rent increase over the next four years
Negotiate with the provincial government to set the maximum allowable rent increase at 0% for the next four years within the City of Vancouver.
Furthermore, to ensure that landlords do not circumvent the Rent Freeze:
Stop renovictions by only granting renovation permits if the landlord demonstrates that any tenants forced to vacate will be allowed to return at previous rents
Negotiate with the provincial government to ban “no-cause” evictions and to tie rent-control to the unit.
These steps do not cost much to implement, but they will make a huge differences in people’s lives.