British Columbia

BC NDP promises renters $400 a year

NDP Leader John Horgan is pledging to help renters in B.C. with a $400 rebate to offset skyrocketing rents in cities like Vancouver, B.C.

Leader John Horgan announced his party’s plan to introduce a renter’s rebate

One bedroom apartments can cost up to $1,900 a month in Vancouver, putting them out of reach for most renters. (CBC)

NDP Leader John Horgan is pledging to help renters in B.C. with a $400 rebate to offset skyrocketing rents in cities like Vancouver, B.C.

"Help is on the way," said Horgan.

"If homeowners can have homeowners grant, renters should be able to have a grant as well."

But B.C. Liberal Leader Christy Clark was quick to debate the concept, describing it as a redistribution of tax money to the rich.

Instead, she said, public funds should help people who are having trouble staying in their homes.

"The NDP are proposing, as I understand it, that someone who has a penthouse in downtown Vancouver that rents for thousands of dollars a month would get a $400 rental subsidy? That isn't right!" Clark countered, adding that this is an example of the NDP "flying by the seat of their pants."

'If homeowners can have homeowners grant, renters should be able to have a grant as well,' says NDP Leader John Horgan. (Richard Zussman/CBC)

The mechanics of the rebate — how it will work, how to apply and when it would be introduced — were not released. Horgan told reporters he plans to unveil those details on Thursday when he releases his full campaign platform.

Horgan also announced he plans to keep good on a promise to close loopholes in the Residential tenancy Act that allow landlords to boost rents.

"Christy Clark's choices have hurt renters, " said Horgan.

"Unlike the Liberals, we will block the loophole when it comes to fixed term lease issue that Mr. Coleman planned to fix five years ago," said Horgan.

The B.C. NDP leader was joined by the MLA for Vancouver-West End, Spencer Chandra Herbert, and MLA for Vancouver-Fairview George Heyman.

High rent has become an election issue in British Columbia, especially in Vancouver B.C. (Jacy Schindel/CBC)

With files from Jesse Johnston

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