Provincial government launches rental housing task force

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The B.C. government is set to unveil an “upcoming opportunity” for renters and landlords. Darryl Dyck / THE CANADIAN PRESS

 

Vancouver NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, a long time advocate for renters, is set to head up a new task force looking at issues in the rental housing markets.

Premier John Horgan, joined by Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson, announced Tuesday that Chandra, who is MLA for Vancouver-West End, will be joined on the task force by Green MLA for Saanich North and the Islands, Adam Olsen, and NDP MLA for Courtenay-Comox, Ronna-Rae Leonard.

The task force “will advise on how to improve security and fairness for renters and landlords throughout the province,” the government said in an announcement.

Chandra Herbert will also serve as the Premier’s advisor on residential tenancy.

“Our laws haven’t kept up with the changing housing market, and that has left both renters and landlords vulnerable,” Horgan said in the statement. “This task force will connect with British Columbians, review laws in other jurisdictions and deliver the first full review of our residential tenancy laws in 16 years.”

“Everything is on the table,” Horgan told reporters in Victoria after making the announcement. He called Chandra Herbert “a strong advocate” for renters.

“There 1.5 million renters in B.C.,” Chandra Herbert noted. “This is work I’ve taken on since before I was an MLA.”

“For too long when renters and landlords have called for help the haven’t found it.”

The task force will report back and make recommendations in fall 2018.