About BC Rent Bank
What is a Rent Bank?
Rent banks are a homelessness prevention tool that is focused on providing housing stability for low- to moderate-income renters. Rent banks provide financial assistance in the form of repayable loans, to households at risk of eviction for reasons such as non-payment of rent or utilities. Rent banks can also aid with individuals moving between housing, who might need to borrow the funds for a damage deposit to make the move.
In addition to providing loans, many rent banks also assist with the following:
- Advocate on behalf of individuals to landlord/tenancy boards, utilities corporations, etc.
- Mediate conversations between individual tenants and their landlords and other parties.
- Referral to other agencies for access to food, clothing, transportation support, and so on.
- Identify government subsidies, programs and/or benefits that individuals may be eligible for.
What is BC Rent Bank?
In December 2018, the Provincial Rental Housing Task Force, led by the premier’s advisor on residential tenancy, MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert, along with MLA’s Adam Olsen and Ronna-Rae Leonard, released 23 recommendations to the premier, including recommendation #4, provincial funding for rent banks.
BC Rent Bank is the title of the project established by Vancity Community Foundation in response to that recommendation and the funding provided by the Province of BC. The funding will be used to support existing rent banks and to help establish a province-wide rent bank system. The goal is that regardless of where you live in the province you can be supported to help maintain your housing.
A Steering Committee has been established to act in an advisory capacity for the BC Rent Bank Project. The Steering Committee is a diverse group of stakeholders whose range of expertise in their fields offers valuable perspectives facing both landlords and tenants. We know that in working towards solutions for renters in the province we need all stakeholders – tenants, landlords, regulators, investors, service providers and developers – talking together to bring greater understanding to the realities that all parties face.
Current members of the Steering Committee include: