Renters face another hot summer with scant protections
April 24, 2023
Mohammed Rafi Arefin, 2021 Wall Scholar, Executive Committee member at UBC’s Centre for Climate Justice and part of the 2022 PWIAS Catalyst Leadership team recently published an article in the Tyee. His co-authors include UBC’s Naomi Klein and Geraldine Pratt, Andrea Krombein of the South Vancouver Seniors Network and Marpole Oakridge Family Place, and RAC’s Zuzana Moodrovic and Robert Patterson from the Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre (TRAC).
As part of our ongoing research partnership between housing and climate researchers and advocates, we have collected stories from tenants left struggling in units that were not built for the realities of a changing climate: high temperatures, wildfire smoke, increased flooding and sudden cold snaps. One senior tenant told us that she feels “trapped in [a] place that is my living quarters” — trapped by the reality of the climate crisis and also by the reality of B.C.’s housing crisis.
These two crises are now intersecting in dangerous ways, with the lack of decent, affordable housing making it harder for tenants to survive extreme weather events. In the nation’s eviction capital of Metro Vancouver, tenants often refrain from making legitimate complaints to their landlords and don’t ask for repairs or accommodations out of fear of being targeted for eviction in the guise of renovations.