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March 12th, 2024

Singh: Protecting Renters Fund should be in the upcoming budget

COQUITLAM— On Tuesday, Canada’s NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh and NDP MP Bonita Zarrillo (Port Moody –Coquitlam) urged the government to establish a fund to protect renters in the next budget. This fund, similar to the one the B.C. government has put in place, would help not-for-profit organizations across the country buy affordable housing when it’s on the market and make sure it stays affordable for renters.

While Justin Trudeau has been in power, rent has doubled across the country and a staggering eleven affordable homes are lost for every affordable home that gets built.

“Renters across the country are worrying about being renovicted or seeing their rent double if a giant corporate housing profiteer buys their building to jack up prices,” said Singh. “We can’t make our communities affordable for renters if we don’t protect the affordable homes we already have. But Justin Trudeau and Pierre Poilievre continue to let rich developers turn affordable homes into luxury apartments. Both Conservatives and Liberals have let their big developer friends get rich at Canadian renters’ expense. New Democrats know people deserve better.”

Last month, the B.C. government’s Rental Protection Fund saved 290 affordable homes in the heart of Coquitlam, ensuring that those families can continue living in the community that they helped build. Without this meaningful investment from the B.C. government, these 290 homes would have been lost to redevelopment by private investors who wanted to evict these families.

“Coquitlam has vacancy rates as low as 0.3 per cent. That means when tenants get renovicted by big, corporate landlords and redevelopments, there is literally no where for them to go. For some people displacement and rising rental prices means they are spending 100 per cent of their income on rent,” said Zarrillo. “This is an untenable situation, and it has to stop.

Because Trudeau failed to step up, Premier Eby has stepped in to show what New Democrats can do in government, but they need a real federal partner. We’re asking the federal government to protect renters by saving more of the affordable homes we have now, and we want to see it happen in the next budget.”