Why are we keeping so busy in August? Because the crisis for renters just keeps heating up. Multiple news stories this week have highlighted worsening conditions in the Lower Mainland but also shows how tenants are stepping up.
The average asking rent in Vancouver broke through to over $3000 for a one-bedroom and nearly $4000 for a two bedroom. That means the market rents for a one-bedroom have gone up $1000 in only 4 years! It’s no wonder then, that of the 600,000 renter households in BC about 16% or nearly 100,000 families are paying “crisis level” rent of more than 50% of their income.
In good news, we found out today that our friends at the Vancouver Tenants Union (VTU) were successful in defeating a high profile attempt to evict a long-term tenant of 16 years to place a caretaker in a building of only 12 units. While pursuing eviction, the landlord had two empty suites AND was renting two Airbnb units for $5000/month each! It’s amazing what Landlords will try to get away with when operating in the shadows. Congrats to the VTU and Keir on getting together with their neighbours and fighting back!
Tuesday Aug 22nd at 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Tabling & Prep for City Council Meeting
- No-Fault Eviction Tabling & Leafletting session
We are going to set up an info table on stopping no-fault evictions and talking to people in the area. How do you engage people in the issue & not annoy them? First we’ll go through our materials to understand the issue of no-fault evictions and do a quick teach-in on tips in talking to people you don’t know. We’ll have some seasoned organizers if you want to shadow them and learn the ropes. This is a great opportunity for those that want to feel more comfortable engaging deeply into our community on these important issues.
2. Prep for speaking about Air Conditioning at New West City Council
At the same time and place, we’ll have an organizer leading a discussion on the Monday Aug 29th city council meeting. At this meeting, Councillors Nakagawa and Henderson will be asking staff to research the feasibility of mandating air conditioning within rental buildings. If you have been suffering during the heat and want to speak at the council meeting you should come to this group and get help crafting your message and signing up to speak!
Monday August 28th at 6pm
New West City Council Meeting
511 Royal Ave
We will be gathering at City Hall to support those speaking on the motion at city council to regulate building temperatures. We would like to have a good contingent of tenants to support one another in speaking about this important issue. Be there to help protect the health of our elderly and vulnerable tenants who may not survive successive heat domes without air conditioning in their buildings.
To sign up to speak at city council get more info here: https://www.newwestcity.ca/city_hall/mayor_and_council/council-meetings/how-to-speak-to-council
Tuesday August 29th at 7pm
Summer celebration at Moody Park
In the South-East corner near the Playground
After spending the previous night in council chambers, shuffling into the basement of the public library the next night just didn’t sound like that much fun. So instead of an August public meeting, we are instead planning an informal social at Moody Park. We’ll have some food on hand, but bringing things to share is encouraged. We’ll also have some cold liquids and some shade to battle the heat. We’ll commandeer a picnic table and bring some chairs, but bring a lawn chair if you have one. If you have something specific you need to talk to an organizer about, we’ll have space to chat. Don’t worry, our next public meeting won’t be too far along, as due to scheduling we’ll be having it more in the middle of Sept on Tuesday Sept 19th at 7pm.
That’s all for now. Be mindful of the heat and stay cool out there.
Hope to see you out building community and fighting for your rights!