Kelowna will be one of 10 locations across the province in June where the Rental Housing Task Force will host community meetings.
The Kelowna meeting takes place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12, in the Centre For Learning Atrium at Okanagan College, 1000 KLO Rd.
The intent of the forums is to hear different perspectives from renters and landlords about what is needed to modernize and balance current provincial tenancy laws.
Spencer Herbert, the New Democrat MLA for Vancouver-West End, will chair the task force, which will turn in its report to Premier John Horgan this fall with the likelihood of changes being introduced through legislation in the spring of 2019.
Herbert said the focus of his report will be both on renters and landlords, looking for ways to improve existing tenancy laws for the benefit of both renters and housing providers.
He noted that renters make up about one-third of B.C.’s residents, and tenancy laws haven’t kept up with both that growth along with changing housing markets and low vacancy rates.
Herbert said the province has already taken action to reduce the wait time for residential tenancy disputes, and create a compliance unit to ensure current laws are investigated and called-for penalties handed out expeditiously.
“One of the complaints we always seem to hear is what is the point of having laws if they are not going to be enforced,” Herbert said.
He also acknowledged that conflicts between landlord and renter interests will need to be bridged by solutions that he hopes will be generated from both the community forums and the opportunity for people to express their views online at https://engage.gov.bc.ca/rentalhousingtaskforce.
“We want to encourage discussion because government doesn’t have all the answers, or where we need to look to find solutions to problems,” she said.
To register at the Kelowna forum as a presenter, go to https://rentalhousingtaskforce-kelowna.eventbrite.com.
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