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.