BC Rent Bank Project

Local governments are encouraged to support the BC Rent Bank – a provincially funded program administered by the Vancity Community Foundation. The BC Rent Bank provides support to the existing rent banks in BC in order to expand the services they deliver.

A rent bank is 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 and security deposits to individuals moving between housing. Funding from the Province is intended to complement and not replace any of the existing or emerging financial sources for rent banks.

In addition to providing loans, many rent banks also assist with the following:

  • Advocate on behalf of individuals to landlord/tenancy boards or utilities corporations.
  • Mediate conversations between individual tenants and their landlords and other parties.
  • Referral to other agencies for additional support.
  • Identify government subsidies, programs and/or benefits, including programs that develop financial literacy and money management skills.

A Steering Committee, of which UBCM is a member, has been established to act in an advisory capacity for the BC Rent Bank Project. Local governments play a key supporting role in the growth and sustainability of rent banks. Communities including Vancouver, New Westminster, and Kamloops have contributed resources and expertise that have served to strengthen local rent bank programs.

For information about the project, please contact project lead, Melissa Giles, 604-877-8453.

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