Protecting Tenants and Homeowners During COVID-19
The VDLC continues to call for the cancellation of rent debt, a ban on evictions, and a moratorium on mortgage payments for those who need it during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stay tuned for details of an upcoming webinar on tenants rights for VDLC delegates and affiliate members, and see below for the recommendation adopted at our July regular meeting as well as links to get more information and to take action.
Recommendation adopted at the July 21, 2020, regular meeting of the VDLC:
Subject: Protecting Tenants and Homeowners During COVID-19
BECAUSE the COVID-19 pandemic has devastated working people and their incomes, with 37% of renters across Canada losing their jobs and another 9% seeing reduced hours according to The Toronto Star; and
BECAUSE the many tenants have been left unable to pay their rents and have used their savings and/or accumulated debt in order to get by; and
BECAUSE the absence of rent control tying rent to the unit rather than the tenant means that evictions of tenants will also mean reduction of affordable rental stock and a deepening of the housing crisis; and
BECAUSE the Vancouver Tenants Union launched a petition at NoRentDebt.ca which has over 1,000 signatures calling for:
1. Immediately extending the ban on evictions and rent increases until the end of pandemic
2. Laying out a plan to cancel existing eviction notices and rent debt accrued before and during the pandemic; and
BECAUSE the VDLC Executive Board issued statements on March 16 and March 24 calling for emergency measures to protect workers and tenants during COVID-19, including an eviction moratorium and cancellation of rent debt; and
BECAUSE the Provincial Government has lifted the ban on evictions, with the exception of evictions for non-payment of rent; and
BECAUSE the majority of renters are workers, including members of our affiliated unions, and are being placed in positions of housing precarity. The current situation threatens to inflame the housing affordability and homelessness crises in the region, and must be addressed
BECAUSE the current situation also impacts many homeowners, who rely upon rental income to make their mortgage payments. These homeowners, faced with the potential of mounting mortgage debt, could find themselves in jeopardy of foreclosure, which would jeopardize both their own housing and that of their tenants,
THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL endorse the Vancouver Tenants Union petition NoRentDebt.ca, and its calls for the extension of a ban on evictions and the cancellation of eviction notices and rent and mortgage debt; and
THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL FURTHER endorse the March 16 and March 27 statements of the VDLC Executive Board; and
THE VANCOUVER AND DISTRICT LABOUR COUNCIL WILL FINALLY support the VDLC Housing Action Team in hosting an event in collaboration with the Vancouver Tenants Union with the intention of providing education to VDLC delegates about their rights as tenants, linking those facing housing issues to assistance, and connecting those wishing to take action on housing issues to opportunities to do so.