BCGEU applauds the housing minister’s decision to review caps on rental price hikes

The BCGEU applauds housing minister Selina Robinson’s announcement that the new NDP government, in an effort to stabilize rental prices, will look into changing the guidelines that cap the amount by which landlords are allowed to hike rental prices year after year.

The rising cost of housing is having a very real impact on working people in B.C. As housing prices have increased faster than wages, working people are seeing the consequences in a significant loss of purchasing power.

“Housing affordability is a major issue for our members.” said BCGEU President Stephanie Smith. “From Victoria to Nelson and Kelowna to Prince George, we hear stories of members struggling to pay for housing in today’s market. Our members will be happy to see the new NDP government take action on affordability.”

Under current rules, landlords are able to increase rental prices for existing tenants by two percent plus inflation once every 12 months. This year, that has resulted in a price increase of up to 4% for many families in B.C. who already pay some of the highest housing prices in the world. The proposed changes would reduce this cap in an effort to stabilize rental prices.

Robinson also said legislation to close the “fixed-term loophole” would be tabled in the fall. Landlords can currently use this loophole to hike prices past the 2% plus inflation cap by forcing tenants into signing new one-year leases.

Stabilizing housing prices and reducing the cost of rent is one of the most effective ways to support working people across the province. The BCGEU looks forward to working with the new government to find solution to the housing crisis that work for all British Columbians.

 For more information please contact Bronwen Barnett, BCGEU Communications, 604-719-4713.