BC Government Commits to Protecting Renters from Bad-Faith Evictions

Date 22 Feb, 2024

On Wednesday, BC’s Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin delivered the throne speech and drew specific attention to an issue that we’ve been working and advocating on for over a year: protecting renters and ending bad-faith evictions. 

Though details on implementation were not provided, the speech promised that action will be taken in this legislative session. Last week, we delivered our law reform platform to Housing Minister Ravi Kahlon and Premier Eby, identifying legislative solutions to do exactly that: “prevent bad-faith and unlawful evictions, improve procedural fairness, and increase housing stability and security for BC’s diverse communities.” 

This is a tremendous victory not only for FIRST UNITED, but for tenants all across the province, and for you, our supporters who helped achieve this. 

“We’ve been working tirelessly through our BC Eviction Map project and our law reform platform to affect this type of change. Protecting renters from eviction, displacement, and homelessness has been the core of our systems change work over the past year. Today, we see that advocacy and collective action work.” – Amanda Burrows, Executive Director.  

We publicly launched initial findings from the BC Eviction Map Survey in May 2023, and followed up with a second report in November 2023, both of which were sent to the BC government for consideration. Based on data from nearly 700 tenants from across BC who had been evicted, those reports illustrated that over a quarter of respondents became homeless after eviction and that landlords are evicting tenants in bad-faith and for financial gain.  

In a press conference on Wednesday, Minister Kahlon said “too many landlords are evicting people under the pretence that they’re using the space for a family member but end up bringing in another tenant at a fair-higher rent.” 

This is exactly what our reports have found and our law reform platform, “Everyone Needs a Home: Solutions for Preventing Homelessness, Evictions, and Displacement”, acts as a roadmap for how government can act to address it.  

We’ve had a petition available since December 2023, calling on Minister Kahlon to prioritize these changes. With nearly 500 signatures to date, we believe your collective voice has been heard. If you haven’t signed the petition yet, you still can here: https://firstunited.ca/resources/tenancyreform/.  

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