To be clear, these annual rent increases are a direct result of over a decade of inept housing policy by the former BC Liberal government. The failure to reign in a housing market increasingly disconnected from local incomes is 100% on the Clark government.
That being said, I’d hope the new GreeNDP government makes housing affordability a priority when the House reconvenes in a few weeks. We haven’t heard much as far as commitments on this file, and I urge you to write your MLA and remind them that housing affordability needs to be THE priority for the new government.
It is important to point out that Vancouver city council don’t have the power to outright legislate rent control, despite what some people are suggesting.
What council can be (and should be) doing is:
- through zoning, increase supply of the right kind of (affordable) new housing
- through building and permits, reduce red tape and regulation that slows and costs housing supply
- through building, permits, and zoning, protect existing rental supply
- through zoning move to limit speculation
There's more, and of course, council should be advocating senior government to effect changes (like land tax reform and rent control) — but passing the buck to senior government is a poor excuse for ineffective local policy.