We demand immediate provincial government housing action to solve the housing crisis in BC:
- Build 10,000 units of good quality social housing per year.
- Prioritize social housing units for Indigenous Peoples, migrants, women, seniors, people with mental health and physical disabilities including HIV/AIDs, and vulnerable low-income people who are disproportionately at risk of homelessness and hidden homelessness.
- Save existing low rent housing by enforcing maintenance standards; maintain non-market projects whose operating agreements are expiring; freeze rents & don’t allow increased rents when tenants move; and close loopholes in the Residential Tenancy Act to stop renovictions.
- Protect tenants. Recognize tenant unions and their power to negotiate with landlords; Make all supportive & student housing fully covered by the Residential Tenancy Act.
- Include everyone who needs housing. End eligibility discrimination and make all BC residents eligible for BC Housing. Extend housing rights to temporary migrant workers by granting them permanent legal status.
- Fund social housing through taxation as a social responsibility of the government, and support residents of communities to develop and manage their social housing themselves.
Housing Crisis Solutions
Housing is the number one determinant of health and a fundamental necessity for individual and social well-being. Being homeless or living on the precipice of homelessness in unsafe, inadequate and insecure housing erodes physical and mental health and undermines human flourishing. Private market housing cannot address this immense need; the provincial government must take action and commit to a social housing strategy that will meet the crisis head-on.
A commitment of 1% of the provincial GDP (approx. $2 billion) annually would provide the resources for 10,000 units of new social housing each year. Sustained over the course of 12 years, this investment that would create decent and dignified housing for people in need and provide thousands of jobs as well.
In addition, vulnerable populations must be given priority for social housing, existing affordable housing must be protected, and renters supported through implementing rent controls and empowering tenant unions.
Therefore, we are calling on the government of BC to build new social housing, protect and improve already existing social housing, and support renters in their efforts to access safe, affordable and secure housing.