>> Hon. Grace Lore

Housing affordability is a crucial issue for so many in our community. This spring, we’ve implemented additional changes as we continue to work to rise to the challenge of the housing crisis and ensuring that more of our neighbours have opportunities to access affordable, attainable, and appropriate housing.

If you have any questions or would like to access information or support, feel free to connect with my office at Grace.Lore.MLA@leg.bc.ca or 250-952-4211.

Improvement to the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters (SAFER) program

In April, a one-time rental benefit of $430 was distributed to assist low-income families and seniors enrolled in the rental assistance and SAFER program. But we know rising rents require us to support people in an ongoing way. That’s why we also expanded eligibility to thousands more seniors, increased existing monthly subsidies by about $110 a month and made other key changes like raising the income limit and minimum benefit.

Changes to address evictions for landlord use

Changes to the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) this spring will prevent unfair evictions by addressing evictions for landlord use. Changes including prohibiting these evictions in properties with more than five units, increasing the time landlords must occupy rentals after eviction from six months to one year and requiring longer period of notice to tenants. Landlords will also be required to use a web portal for eviction notices, so they are educated about their responsibilities and the consequences for bad faith eviction.

Short-Term rental restrictions now in place

Short-term rentals are now prohibited outside primary residences in urban areas across the province. In our community there are hundreds of units that have been used as short-term rentals that will now be available as long-term rentals and permanent homes. To enforce these rules, fines for non-compliant platforms and owners are increased and a mandatory registration system and a new enforcement unit have been established.

To meet the housing needs of our community here in Fernwood and across our city and province we need to use all the tools in our toolbox, because homes are for people and our community need us to get it right.