Two and a half years ago this mayor and council were elected to office at the City of Vancouver promising to work together and get things done. They have proven unable to improve any of the big issues facing our city: homelessness, permit delays, rising property tax rates, a lack of affordable rental homes or crime, to name a few. This mayor and council have simply kicked the can down the road another four years as things in the city just get worse.
Amongst all this chaos and confusion the city has failed to provide solutions to the housing crisis. Under this government, it is now almost impossible for rental housing providers to continue providing homes in the city.
With Covid-19, there has been a rent freeze in place. This means rent increases have been set to 0%. But the increased costs for rental providers are far from 0%. In two short years, they have skyrocketed. In one example, a 20-unit rental building in the City of Vancouver has seen property tax increases of 24% since 2019. On top of those property tax increases there has been an 11% sewer tax increase and rental home insurance premiums have gone up over 30%.
For many small landlords, these huge cost increases on top of zero flexibility on rent adjustments means that providing rental housing is no longer viable. They are being forced to sell their buildings and get out of the city and the business altogether.
Vancouver desperately needs a competent government that makes informed and smart decisions that foster a healthy rental market. The city has not offered any assistance to rental home providers and this ultimately has led to the downfall of the rental housing market.
City hall confusion on financial matters extends beyond just rental homes. Last year the mayor was worried about the city going into total bankruptcy… but now we find out the city has a 200 million dollar surplus. How the mayor and council could have missed 200 million in their budget is beyond belief. Still, they raised property taxes by 5% last year. At the end of the day, it is renters who are left wondering if their homes will survive this dangerous business climate.
It is time we elect a city government who understands that we need more rental homes now and that will step in to help rental home providers survive. Sign our petition at www.rentalproject.ca and let your city government know that simply kicking the ball down the road another four years is not good enough.