What is it?
Vacancy control is a form of rent control that ties allowable rent increases to a housing unit, rather than to individual tenancy agreements, which is the current model of rent control in B.C.
Why is it necessary?
The current model of rent control incentivizes landlords to end long term tenancies in order to seek higher rents in tight rental markets. This type of economic displacement hits low and fixed income tenants the hardest, and contributes to the province’s homelessness and mental health crisis. Tying rent control to units would remove the economic incentive to end tenancies and likely decrease the number of "renovictions" and other types of bad-faith evictions.
The current model of rent control also undermines the province’s efforts to increase the stock of affordable, public, and non-profit housing. British Columbia lost 15 affordable private units (renting for $750 or less) for every new affordable unit built between 2011-2016. Vacancy control would immediately and universally moderate the rate of rent increases across the province, which will help to ensure security of tenure for tens of thousands of renters who are waiting for affordable public housing to be built.