Earlier this month, many B.C. tenants were shocked to learn that they could pay the largest rent increases in 15 years in 2019.
The annual allowable increase will be 4.5 percent, which was last surpassed by a 4.6 percent increase in 2004.
This is occurring under an NDP provincial government, whose candidates promised to make things easier for tenants during the 2017 provincial election.
Today, a former New Westminster Citizen of the Year decided to take things in her own hands to address this situation.
Nadine Nakagawa, also a candidate for New West council, launched an online petition to try to change the provincial formula for annual rental increases.
Created by the B.C. Liberal government, it permits rent hikes at inflation plus two percent.
"This formula has contributed to the housing crisis by allowing rental rates to rise faster than inflation," the petition states. "We are asking the BC government led by Premier John Horgan and Housing Minister Selina Robinson to change this formula before the increase takes effect."
Nakagawa has received help during her council campaign from New Westminster NDP MLA Judy Darcy, who's the minister of mental health and addictions.
Coincidentally, Darcy's most recent tweet praised the minister of housing, who's named in Nagakawa's petition.
That's just two degrees of separation between Nakagawa and the housing minister, which should give tenants hope that perhaps a change is in the air.