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Should BC Introduce Vacancy Control?

Housing affordability is top of mind in B.C., especially for renters.

Vancouver — with average rent for a one bedroom at $3,013 — is the most expensive rental market in Canada.

A January report from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. found that in Vancouver, “turned over” two-bedroom units in 2022 had new rents that were 23.9 per cent higher, while units that did not change tenants saw rent increases of 3.9 per cent.

One possible solution to such rent increases is vacancy control, which would limit landowners from hiking rates between tenants.

But the provincial government has said vacancy control would disincentivize housing construction, and that its 3.5 per cent rent increase cap for 2024 was an attempt to balance the needs of renters and landowners.

A new Tyee report found that landowners are generally still making a profit on apartment buildings at existent rents.

Many groups, including the British Columbia General Employees’ Union, one of B.C.’s largest unions, have backed vacancy control. The union has said its members increasingly can’t afford to live in the communities they work in.

As conversations about the housing crisis and its solutions continue to intensify, we want to ask:

Should BC introduce vacancy control?

* Please note that all poll answers will be publicly viewable, but anonymous.

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Please note that Tyee Barometer polls are only intended as a quick and engaging non-scientific snapshot of our readers' opinions on various topics that fit with The Tyee's very broad editorial mandate. They are not intended to be seen as a representative sampling of BC opinion.

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