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Celebrating one year of fighting for tenants' rights in BC

Last Updated Apr 28, 2018 at 11:28 am PST

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Vancouver Tenants Union celebrates one year of protecting renters' rights

Local tenants group admits more work needs to be done as housing crisis in BC heats up

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – From pushing for rent controls to fighting so-called renovictions, the Vancouver Tenants Union has much to celebrate as it marks its first anniversary this weekend.

Close to 900 renters now make up the union.

Sydney Ball, who is part of its steering committee, feels it has helped affect some significant change but she admits there is still a lot of work to do.

“What we are hoping to do right now with the announcement of the rental task force from the province is to make really clear recommendations for them and have a really, really strong voice for tenants rights.”

A few of those recommendations include putting an end to the speculative housing market and ensuring housing exists to provide homes first.

She feels they’ve accomplished plenty in their first year. “It’s really simple, but it’s definitely the thing that makes you feel the best and we’ve definitely fought a lot of renoviction cases and won.”

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Some of the other items on the list of the Rental Housing Task Force will include travelling the province this summer to get the thoughts of renters, landlords and all stakeholders, including municipalities before making recommendations to the premier and minister of municipal affairs as well as Housing Minister Selina Robinson to modernize tenancy regulations this fall.

The NDP is doing this after promising a $400 renters grant during last year’s election. The grant is something that still hasn’t happened, but the party promises it will before the end of its first term in office.

This weekend’s Annual General Meeting will go over all of that as well as look back at the union’s accomplishments over the first 12 months of its existence.

The meeting and its first anniversary party will be held Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Red Gates Art Society on East Hastings Street in Vancouver.