Today, MLAs debated a motion to support the BC NDP government’s two per cent cap on rent increases in 2023. The cap will protect renters from massive rent hikes tied to inflation, but not a single BC Liberal MLA spoke in support of the measure.
BC Liberal MLAs including BC Liberal Housing Critic Mike Bernier mocked the measure, calling it “sloganeering.” Bernier has flipped three homes for profit in the last four years.
BC Liberal Leader Kevin Falcon has directly opposed capping rents at two per cent.
He recently told a real estate panel: “On the rental side, what did government just do? They just capped inflationary increases. So now you’ve got landlords that are capped at two per cent while they’re facing six, seven, eight per cent inflationary costs.”
Before 2017, the BC Liberals allowed rent increases of two per cent plus inflation. The BC NDP government capped increases to inflation in 2018. Without the BC NDP’s changes in 2018 and this year, renters would be facing increases of 7.6 per cent.
Last year, BC set an all-time record for rental housing starts. In five years of BC NDP government there have been more rental housing starts than in the previous fifteen years under the BC Liberals.
BC NDP MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert:
“People are having a tough time with the high cost of living and that’s why we are capping rent increases at two per cent for 2023. But Kevin Falcon is against that cap. If it was up to him, people would be facing rent increases of nearly eight per cent. Even Ontario’s Conservative government has capped rents at 2.5 per cent. Kevin Falcon is once again defending the profits of big investors and speculators instead of helping renters.”