B.C. rental task force launches forum series in Maple Ridge

'People have been hungry for an opportunity to talk about these issues,' says task force lead Spencer Chandra Herbert.

Public consultation on rental issues will include meetings in 10 communities

The price of rental housing has drastically increased in parts of the province. (David Horemans/CBC)

British Columbians got their chance to speak out about tenancy laws on Monday night, at the first of a series of rental forums taking place across the province. 

At the first meeting in Maple Ridge, MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert — who is leading the task force with MLA Adam Olsen and MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard — said the legislation hasn't kept up with the rapidly changing dynamics in the housing market.

"We've had situations of very low vacancy, renovictions, people not being able to afford their homes, landlords having challenges dealing with maybe problem landlords, renters having problems with problem landlords," Chandra Herbert said. 

He said there are currently very few penalties in place, and very few ways to try to address this issue.

"People have been hungry for an opportunity to talk about these issues," he added.

According to the task force, its purpose is to identify ways to improve security and fairness for renters and rental housing providers and address affordability.

The next meetings take place on the following dates, and the task force is also gathering feedback online:

  • June 6: Nanaimo
  • June 12: Kelowna
  • June 14: Nelson
  • June 18: Terrace
  • June 20: Prince George
  • June 22: Salt Spring Island
  • June 26: Victoria
  • June 27: Vancouver
  • June 28: Surrey

The task force is expected to report its findings to the premier and come up with recommendations by the fall of this year.

With files from Meera Bains