Rent Strike Vancouver

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We the undersigned are Vancouver Tenants who pledge to withhold rent May 1st. 

If you are committed to participating in the Vancouver rent strike - whether you cannot afford rent, are choosing to save your money to meet your basic needs, or are striking in solidarity with those who cannot pay - please sign this petition. This way strikers can see they are not alone and watch our numbers grow. Last month, more than 130 tenants pledged to withhold rent.

About the Strike:

With unemployment in the province jumping to 7.2% in March - and the worst yet to come, according to BC’s finance minister Carole James - we know that many tenants have been forced to choose between paying for housing and other basic necessities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This drastic rise of economic instability is only compounding the anxiety that poor Vancouver residents endure every month as they live paycheck to paycheck in one of the country’s most expensive cities.


Renters have been left to fend for themselves by the government. Before the BC rental assistance program was introduced on April 8th, the housing minister simply encouraged that landlords and tenants come to their own agreements. This put thousands of tenants in the place of negotiating for a roof over their head with largely unsympathetic landlords. We cannot expect and depend on “sympathy” from landlords to keep a roof over our heads. Housing is not a privilege; it is a right.

After many of us already struggled to pay our April bills, we have now been offered government support, but it is painfully inadequate for Vancouver renters. Many of us who are unemployed, studying or working in seasonal economies, gig economies or criminalized economies are not eligible at all. A suspension of evictions has been announced, but it remains unclear what will happen in the long term for those who withhold rent.

It is clear that the government doesn’t understand the economic problems facing workers and unemployed people in our province. We need a complete freeze on rent payments. Until a rent freeze along with amnesty for those withholding rent is granted, we will strike, collectively withholding our rents. Solidarity among renters may be the only thing standing between individuals and underhanded tactics of landlords, banks and inadequate government intervention.


For more information and other ways to support the rent strike, visit rentstrikevan.ca.

* DISCLAIMER: Rent Strike Vancouver is a decentralized initiative seeking to spread information and resources to tenants thinking about a rent strike. We do not have the capacity to provide anyone with direct legal support. A general rent strike will require mass participation, and our strength will come from the numbers and solidarity and any political pressure we are able to apply. We are in this together but must recognize that we are taking a risk. *