VICTORIA (March 29, 2021) – The BC Liberals are reiterating their calls to the NDP to take immediate action to address skyrocketing rents on Crown land.
“While the NDP have extended the rent freeze in B.C., stopping rent increases until the end of the year, they have excluded their government from these rules,” said BC United Housing Critic Ben Stewart. “Rent for tenants who live on Crown land is based on the assessed value of the property and in the last year, due to increasing property values, tenants are seeing rent increases of up to 300 per cent. These kinds of increases would be incredibly concerning under normal circumstances, but in the middle of a pandemic they are unimaginable.”
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations has had its Crown land rent policy under review for years, but this has yet to result in any changes. Meanwhile, some tenants have reported their rents increasing by $14,000 in the past year alone.
“Government needs to act immediately to address this growing issue,” added Jordan Sturdy, MLA for West Vancouver-Sea to Sky. “It is simply unfair that people will potentially be forced from their homes by rent increases, just because the government is their landlord. Several constituents have raised this issue with me and it’s time for the NDP to intervene, cancel these rent increases as they have done for other renters and allow people to remain in their homes.”
“My family has lived on this land for generations — I have a very strong emotional connection to it and no desire to leave, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to afford,” said Melanie Cochrane, a Crown land rental tenant. “I don’t understand how the government could freeze rents for everyone else but charge its own tenants thousands more in rent during a pandemic.”