On January 21st, 2014, COPE held a public forum on Rent Control in the West End, at Gordon Neighbourhood House.
The discussion focused on Vancouver’s housing crisis, and in particular the crisis for renters living in Vancouver’s dense rental neighbourhoods. Four speakers presented.
Pivot Legal Society’s Housing and Gender lawyer DJ Larkin presented on the human rights case for Rent Control, and the need to recognize that there is a housing crisis.
Housing activist and COPE Executive Director Sean Antrim spoke on the history of rental legislation and tenant organizing. He also introduced some of the various tools the City government could be using to address issue of high rents.
Jackie Wong, a journalist who focuses on the issues facing tenants, spoke about the situation of renters in other North American cities, and what tactics are being used elsewhere to address the housing crises.
Seniors’ advocate Gail Harmer presented a “wish-list” of housing solutions, and talked about how renters need to stand up for themselves.