MONDAY (September 9) sees the launch of the City’s new Renter Services grants, which are designed to support non-profit community-based programs that assist and empower Vancouver renters to understand their rights, pursue their rights, and / or secure their housing. Renter Services grants are intended to elevate and enhance, not simply maintain, an organization’s capacity to support renters.
Applications for Renters Services grants are open from Monday, September 9 until Friday, October 11. More details on the grants are available here.
The fall is a busy time for those looking to secure rental housing and the City of Vancouver is reminding renters of their rights and protections and the support that is available through the City. Actions to improve support for the needs of renters are underway by City staff following Council approval of a suite of measures designed to protect renters earlier this year, including:
· Renters Enquiry Line
The City’s Renters Enquiry staff are available to answer questions on renter protection policies and assist renters in finding building-specific information, such as the status of redevelopment or renovation permits. Since May 18, 2019, more than 80 calls have been taken by the line, with most enquiries focused on concerns around evictions and housing insecurity.
Renters can contact 604-673-8291 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
· New Tenant Relocation and Protection (TRP) Policy
The updated TRP Policy, amended in June 2019, provides increased compensation, support and requirements for ongoing notice and communication from landlords. The updates to the policy aim to reduce the impact of relocation on existing tenants, and provide enhanced supports to residents based on need. More information is available here.
· City of Vancouver Renter Advocacy and Services Team
A team which spans City departments is being established to identify opportunities to better support renters across all City departments and services. The team – made up of City staff from Homelessness Services and Affordable Housing Programs, Development, Buildings and Licensing, Housing Policy and Regulation, and Legal Services – will work with renters, building owners, landlords, community partners, and other levels of government to improve the renter experience and the stability of rental tenancies.
Vancouver has some of the strongest protections for renters in the region and these new City programs and services improve the capacity of both community-based renter services and City services to help renters overcome barriers to pursuing their rights.
Read the Council report with more information on the recommendations approved by Council in June here.