Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Terrace makes for only Northwest stop on Rental Housing Task Force Itinerary

The issue of the rental housing situation in Prince Rupert has been a topic of highly engaged political fodder for a number of years now on the local scene.

The quest for rental fairness and concerns over such issues as increasing rents and renovictions often raised at past City Council sessions.

Concerns on the state of rental housing have been a theme that both the city's elected municipal officials and North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice have used as rallying cry in the past, with the housing issue percolating on high for many residents through much of the last decade and in particular during the recent build up of anticipation of an LNG industry which never arrived.

However, when it comes to an upcoming opportunity to explore the issues of this community, through a newly christened provincial Task Force on housing issues ...  Rupertites will need to find their way to Terrace for an in person presentation, or be satisfied with making their contribution by way of an online contribution form.

The NDP government rolled out its plans for the travels of their Task Force with ten locations selected as host communities for the day long engagement sessions for the trio of MLA's which makes up the group. 

For the travels of the Task Force in the Northwest the Terrace Sportsplex is to be the host venue for the region, with the one day session set for June 18th.

The Terrace session is set to be a three hour opportunity, designed to be what is called a facilitated workshop, that identifies shared perspectives from each participating group.

With the goal of the project to identify solutions and ideas for the task force to consider as they develop their recommendations.

More on how to register for the Terrace Workshop opportunity can be found here.

To participate online, review the process here.

The government introduced the terms for the Task Force on Monday, tasking it to explore what further changes may be needed to modernize B.C.'s tenancy laws.

The Five key areas for the Task Force study include:

Talking to the public, rental housing providers, renters and stakeholders on their views and experiences with current tenancy laws and processes; 

Speaking with Manufactured home park tenants, and owners about improvements to Manufactured Home Park legislation

Identifying options to improve security and fairness for both renters and rental housing providers, while addressing the challenges of affordability

A review of the existing laws and how they apply to different housing situations

A review of innovative approaches in other jurisdictions.

MLA Spencer Chandra Hebert
is the Chair of a Provincial
Task Force on Rents in BC
The tour of the Task Force which is led by NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert MLA For Vancouver-West End will come to an end on June 28th in Surrey, the online contribution deadline for residents of the province is July 6th.

Joining MLA Herbert on the task force will be NDP MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard of Comox and Green Party MLA Adam Olsen from Saanich and Islands.

There is no representation on the Task Force from anyone who may be able to provide some background to the rental experiences of those living in Northern BC, or the British Columbia interior regions.

The Chairman offered up a glimpse Wednesday as to what the Task Force hopes to achieve during its five to six month run.

“One-and-a-half million British Columbians rent. Our laws haven’t kept up with the changing housing market, and that has left both renters and rental housing providers vulnerable,”  ... “Modernizing B.C.’s tenancy laws will provide more fairness for everyone, and help to ensure that rental housing providers and renters are able to plan for the future.”

The trio will report their findings and make recommendations to Premier Horgan and Selina Robinson, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, the report is be completed by the fall of this year.

Some further background on the Task Force and where it will travel can be found here.

For more items related to housing issues on the North Coast see our archive page here.

A review of the work of the North Coast MLA in Victoria can be found from our Legislature Archive page.

To return to the most recent blog posting of the day, click here.

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