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March 10th, 2024

Jagmeet singh calls for a fund to protect Canadian renters

ESQUIMALT— On Sunday, Canada’s NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and NDP candidate for Esquimalt—Saanich—Sooke, Maja Tait, called on the federal government to put in place a fund to protect renters. This fund would help not-for-profit organizations buy affordable housing when it’s on the market and make sure it stays affordable for renters.

Under the Trudeau government rent has doubled across the country and a staggering eleven affordable homes are lost for every affordable home that gets built.

“There will never be enough affordable homes if we don’t protect the ones we already have,” said Singh. “But that’s not what Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre are trying to do. They’re making things worse by letting rich developers turn affordable homes into luxury apartments. When a building with affordable apartments gets sold to these big developers, they renovict tenants and hike up the prices.

“Everyone should be able to find a place they can afford in a community they love. But right now renters are living in constant worry about being renovicted or seeing their rent double if a giant corporate housing profiteer buys their building to jack up prices.”

In Esquimalt, in one year, corporate landlords bought up half of the available properties and the price for a one-bedroom apartment is now up to$2,101 a month. The municipality also has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the country meaning that if a renter is evicted, it’s more challenging to find a new place to rent at a similar rate.

“This needs to stop. The federal government has to protect renters by saving the affordable homes we have and building more housing, faster,” said Tait. “The building behind us is a perfect example. When this building went up for sale, Lu’ma Native Housing was able to purchase the building thanks to contributions from the B.C. government’s Rental Protection Fund and low-interest financing. Now, people living in the building will be able to stay here and pay the same rent.

“That’s exactly what we want for renters across the country and New Democrats are working to make it happen.”