Vancouver Rent Bank provides short-term help to tenants facing eviction or loss of utilities

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      The Vancouver Rent Bank is offering five information sessions this week for tenants facing financial hardship.

      The first takes place on Tuesday (October 15) from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Britannia Community Centre (1161 Napier Street).

      On Wednesday (October 16) from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., there’s another meeting at Champlain Heights Community Centre (3350 Maquinna Drive).

      From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday (October 17) meetings will take place at the West End Community Centre (870 Denman Street) and the Marpole-Oakridge Community Centre (990 West 59th Avenue).

      And on Friday (October 18), there’s an information session at the Mount Pleasant Community Centre (1 Kingsway) from 9 a.m. to noon.

      The Vancouver Rent Bank was launched a year ago.

      It offers short-term funding to some tenants at risk of being evicted or having their utilities disconnected because of a shortage of money.

      The Vancouver Rent Bank also provides a security deposit if the tenant’s home is considered “unsafe or unsustainable”, provided he or she meets the criteria for the program.

      To qualify, applicants must be a resident of Vancouver, 19 years or older, have a bank account and two pieces of identification, have or will have a consistent source of income, have no undischarged bankruptcies, and be unable to qualify for other forms of government financial assistance.

      In addition, Vancouver Rent Bank clients must have rental costs that don’t exceed their ability to pay, and must be experiencing a temporary financial crisis.

      With the help of a donation from the Radcliffe Foundation, Streetohome contributed $366,000 to cover the Vancouver Rent Bank's loans.

      The Vancouver Foundation and the City of Vancouver pay for the operating costs, and the money is managed by the Network of Inner City Community Services Society. The UBC economics department, B.C. Hydro Power Smart, and Vancity are also partners in the project.

      The information sessions are being offered during Homelessness Action Week, which takes place until October 19. It's organized by the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness.




      Oct 14, 2013 at 4:03pm

      ... since I don't have a job I will still lose the roof over my head?

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      richard marquez

      Oct 14, 2013 at 9:10pm

      Hi Charlie,

      I'm wondering why not one Vancouver Rent Bank session is being offered at a homeless shelter, at a social housing centre, or a nonprofit housing society location? Low-income residents there face huge social and economic barriers and are certainly considered, by far, to be the most powerless and vulnerable to eviction in the city, or desperately unable to secure financial support to rent a new place that's not an SRO or a shelter. Suggestion: team up with some of us and let's organize a session at Van City's Pigeon Park Savings on East Hastings.

      Richard Marquez

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      A Person

      Oct 15, 2013 at 11:34am

      @ Richard Marquez

      I am not Charlie, but I would suggest they are not held at these locations because they are not the ones who face eviction with nowhere left to turn. Many of those in low-income housing are on rent subsidies plus disability and have all kinds of gov't support and resources to turn to. It may not seem like they do but they actually have way more than most in this regard. It is the low income working persons living in regular market rent units that face the most challenges when they are unable to make ends meet. They often fall through the cracks for resources nor do they often qualify for the BC Rental Assistance Program.

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      It doesn't address the problem...

      Oct 15, 2013 at 7:16pm

      The problem is overpriced housing brought on by rampant speculation aided and abetted by the usual suspects: the banksters and their hired help, i.e. the various levels of government (and that's NOT only Harper, but every level, especially the Visionoids at 12th and Cambie).

      This is the usual platitudinous liberal BS, similar in many respects as micro-loans, much beloved by liberal, 'miracle of the market' types. You may 'save' one person, one family, for a month or six, but in the end the only solution is to attack the problem at the root. Housing is a human need, much the same as food, air, water, medical care, education, it should be a right, not a privilege for those who can afford it.

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