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Rental Housing Task Force to hit the road for answers to rental crisis

Group led by West End MLA to tour province in June in consultation with renters, landlords and stakeholders
Spencer Chandra Herbert, the NDP MLA for Vancouver-West End, announced Monday that he will not run f
Spencer Chandra Herbert, the NDP MLA for Vancouver-West End, is chairing the province's Rental Housing Task Force

To help the B.C. government improve the Residential Tenancy Act, the newly appointed Rental Housing Task Force will be touring the province in search of answers to the rental crisis, the group announced May 28.

The task force, chaired by West End MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, will hit the road in June to consult with all levels of stakeholders, including renters and landlords, as well as owners of manufactured homes and home park operators.

The group also officially launched a website for those not attending community meetings to share their ideas at

Chandra Herbert said at the press announcement, “We want renters to feel secure in their homes and that the process is fair, just as we want landlords to feel that they are secure in being able to rent out their homes, and that the process is fair… One of the issues is that people break the rules, and there’s no penalty for doing so.”

He added, “It’s not about pro-renters, versus pro-landlords – it’s about trying to be pro-rental and helping both renters and housing providers feel secure.”

When asked by media why the task force isn’t conducting a consultation with specific questions, and leaving the discussion open-ended, Chandra Herbert replied, “We’re not trying to frame the debate, we’re letting those who are actually involved in rental housing and living in rental housing provide us with the answers of where we need to look. Often governments will think they know the questions to ask and completely miss the boat. So I’d rather be open-ended and… allow people to engage with each other.”

The tour will kick off in Maple Ridge June 4, and will take in a total of 10 B.C. cities and regions, including Victoria June 26, finishing in Surrey June 28. (Full list of meetings below, and how to sign up here.)

“We looked at areas where there were a high percentage of renters, different kinds of renters, secondary suites versus purpose-built rental, large urban centres versus smaller communities, communities impacted by tourism versus resource work… It’s a bit of a scatter-gun approach to see what’s out there.”

Chandra Herbert said that following the tour and the online engagement through the summer, the task force would submit a report to the Ministry of Housing in the fall. When asked by media, he did not deny that corresponding changes to legislation would be unlikely to occur until spring 2019 at the earliest.


Maple Ridge
June 4
Thomas Haney Secondary School (Rotunda)
23000 116 Avenue
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

June 6
Christ Community Church Hall
2221 Bowen Road
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

June 12
Okanagan College — Centre for Learning Atrium
1000 KLO Road
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

June 14
The Front Room
600 – 901 Front Street
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

June 18
Terrace Sportsplex
3320 Kalum Avenue
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Prince George
June 20
Connaught Youth Centre — Gymnasium
1491 17 Avenue
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Salt Spring Island
June 22
Lions Club — Hard Bradley Hall
103 Bonnet Avenue
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

June 26
Ambrosia Centre
638 Fisgard Street
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

June 27
SFU Wosk Conference Centre
580 W Hastings Street
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

June 28
Bridgeview Community Centre
11475 126A St, Surrey
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.