The B.C. government is looking for ways to expand rental accommodation. (Black Press)

B.C. rental housing review begins in June

10-city tour, web forum to examine legislation changes

The B.C. government’s rental housing task force hits the road in June to find ways to maintain and increase rental housing supply.

With a third of B.C. residents living in rental accommodation and an average vacancy rate of 1.3 per cent, Vancouver-West End MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert said it’s important to balance the needs of providers and users of rental properties.

“We’re asking renters to think like they’re landlords, landlords to think like they’re renters, because it’s a complex relationship,” Chandra-Herbert said. “It’s not about pro-tenant or pro-landlord, it’s about pro-rental.”

The tour begins Monday, June 4 in Maple Ridge, stopping in Nanaimo June 6, Kelowna June 12, Nelson June 14, Terrace June 18, Prince George June 20, Salt Spring Island June 22, Victoria June 26, Vancouver June 27 and Surrey June 28.

Registration is required to attend the sessions. There is also an website submission and online discussion forum available.

The B.C. NDP government has added $116 million over three years to expand eligibility and increase benefits under its rental assistance and Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) programs.

RELATED: Rental-only zones could lower property values

Legislation presented this spring has allowed for municipalities to impose a rental-only zone on properties it wishes to retain as rental housing stock or expand local options.

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