Housing Justice in a Climate Emergency

May 20, 2022

Mohammed Rafi Arefin, 2021 Wall Scholar and Executive Committee member at UBC’s Centre for Climate Justice is working with the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre to build a research and advocacy partnership for intersecting tenant vulnerabilities to extreme weather in BC.

About the Project:

In the past year, climate change has complicated the fight for affordable and secure housing in British Columbia. The 2021 heat dome was responsible for the deaths of 595 people making it the deadliest weather event in Canadian history. Almost all of these deaths occurred at home or in a hotel and disproportionately impacted the elderly, disabled, and poor, many of them tenants living without proper ventilation or cooling.

Such inequality is occurring in a province that is already home to the eviction capital of Canada: Metro Vancouver. In the now intersecting housing and climate emergency, marginalized BC tenants exposed to extreme weather face unique vulnerabilities. Current adaptation measures could result in increased rents and “reno-victions.”  

Housing advocates currently lack the data to push for equitable climate-focused changes to tenant protections. This partnership hopes to build a relationship and a foundation for the co-creation of research-driven tenant advocacy in BC’s intersecting housing and climate emergencies.

The project’s goals are closely aligned with the Institute’s 2022 Climate and Nature Emergency theme.

Initial funding for the project has been secured through the Community-University Engagement Support Fund