Do the right thing and rescind rent increase

Re: “Tenants face 4.5% rent increase — biggest hike since 2004,” Sept. 9.

I am disgusted to discover that our provincial government has authorized a rent increase of 4.5 per cent for 2019. We have already had increases of almost 14 per cent over the past four years. Aren’t renters suffering enough?

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In the Comox Valley, where I live, half of tenants pay more than 30 per cent of their incomes on rent. That means we are living below the poverty line. However, for many people things are much worse.

One out of every five B.C. renters is paying upward of 70 per cent of their income for rent.

Since they are handing over the vast majority of their wealth to landlords, they might as well be medieval serfs for the amount of misery this is causing.

Many tenants are only one paycheque away from homelessness. Because of job losses, illness and other emergencies, the legions of the homeless keep growing every year. Even the B.C. government proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour over the next several years won’t alleviate the problem if rents go up every year by inflation plus two per cent.

I would like our provincial legislature to: Freeze rents until incomes rise enough to put all renters above the poverty line, and rescind 2019’s 4.5 per cent increase.

Charlotte Ostrowski

Courtenay

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