The Rental Assistance Program provides monthly cash housing supplements.

An increasing number of low to moderate income families across the province have difficulties finding affordable rental housing, particularly in the communities where they work. Supply is not keeping pace with demand and purpose-built rental housing is not being constructed at the same rates as in the past. Increasing affordable housing options is a priority for the Province. Since2006, the Province has introduced or enhanced a number of initiatives to assist low to moderate income renters with their housing needs.

Rental housing is a critical option for people looking for alternatives to homeownership: because of location; when they are new to a community; are in the midst of transition; they cannot afford to own their home; or because they prefer to make investments elsewhere. A third of households in B.C. rent (over 50 per cent in the City of Vancouver).

The province has an aging building stock in need of repair and at risk of being lost to redevelopment due to growth pressures in major urban centres. Much of the existing affordable rental stock for lower-income renters, including single-family dwellings converted into rooming houses and suites within single family dwellings, is non-compliant with local government bylaws. Regulations can protect, enhance, or create amenities or services that benefit communities; they can also result in additional cost pressures for the property owner, costs which may be recaptured through rent increases or modification of the housing type to less-affordable forms.

Landlords and tenants seek confidence that services are accessible, fair, and managed within available public resources and that disputes are resolved in a timely fashion. Our rules must balance a landlord’s interest in maintaining the property and realizing a return on investment, with the tenant’s need for certainty, and their ability to pay. In addition, the demands for services that are progressive and keep up with the rapid pace of change are high. Citizens need information and services that are efficient, modern and easy to manage.

Meeting these expectations requires anticipating key issues and developing new tools to remain responsive and flexible in an environment of constrained resources. Modern and efficient services contribute to increased confidence in the rental housing sector, which in turn results in increased attractiveness of varied housing options and greater supply.

Services available when you need them result in greater housing stability, decreased stress for citizens and increased quality of life. Housing stability prevents crises for citizens and costly emergency services. The services we provide must keep pace with evolving public needs, housing options and building standards.



Goals

INCREASED SUPPLY, CHOICE AND IMPROVED ACCESSIBILITY OF RENTAL HOUSING FOR LOW TO MODERATE I N COME HOUSEHOLDS AND VULNERABLE POPULATIONS

  • Expand successful financing programs for new affordable rental housing.
  • Enhance rental assistance programs.
  • Partner with non-profit housing sector, local governments and developers to increase housing options and ensure adequate supply of rental housing through innovation.

STREAMLINED AND MODERNIZED S YSTEMS WHICH ADDRESS LANDLORD AND TENANT EXPECTATIONS FOR TIMELY AND EFFICIENT ACCESS TO SERVICES AND SUPPORT CONSUMER CONFIDENCE

  • Transformation of Residential Tenancy Branch services to enhance services and meet growing and evolving demand.

 

Continue to Strategy 5