, 18 tweets, 5 min read Read on Twitter
Keep an eye on @BradWestPoCo claiming the moral high ground while pursuing policies which are offside with key fundamentals. Adding a host of new restrictions on rental providers is politically opportunistic but will leave many victims in its wake over the long run. #bcpoli

Background. Brad West announced the City of Port Coquitlam is taking action on “predatory” renovictions. Further, He told The Tri-City News that “kicking renters out then doubling their housing costs after improvements are made is “immoral”.


Here are the council minutes from Port Coquitlam. The motion significantly increases rent controls (by adding a host of new restrictions) on rental housing providers.


Unfortunately, Brad West’s “solution” to 100 seniors facing renovations is akin to fixing a bullet wound with a band-aid. It may be politically expedient but it doesn’t cure the patient.

Economists on the right and left agree rent controls reduce both the quantity and quality of rental supply.


Note, rent controls are not only about rental housing providers ability to raise rents they are also about a host of other restrictions placed on rental housing providers

Targeting “predatory” businesses which engage in renovictions ignores the real problem. The fundamental problem is the growing gap between market rents and the level at the price many renters are paying across British Columbia.

This growing gap creates a strong incentive for property owners to replace existing tenants with new tenants at higher rates. Renovictions are a symptom of this more fundamental issue.

When questioned on the fundamental problem of rent control by developer Tim Sawatzky, Brad West fails to address the fundamental issue and goes right back to questioning the “morality” of building owners who upgrade rental supply and raising rents.

Perhaps this building owner is unsavory an immoral. Perhaps he is operating in a broken system which allows actual rents to become detached from mkt rents thereby incentivizing renovictions and leaving victims in its wake.

Of course, Brad West would have been smart to pick the most unsavory owner he could find, and perhaps he has.

Since Brad West brought up “morality”. It seems fair to question how “moral” is it to pursue band-aid policies which are politically expedient, benefit a political career, and yet are fundamentally problematic leaving many victims in their wake?

I would also note data from his Twitter account shows Brad West has displayed little interest in discussing the fundamental problem (rent controls). Based on my search over the past year his Twitter feed has tweeted, retweeted, or mentioned “rent control” 0 times.

The unfortunate reality is solving the core problem is difficult. Reactionary policies feel good but often further the core problem. I would suggest those who are passionate about housing challenges start by championing the removal of rent controls on new builds.

Where rent controls have already led to a gap between actual versus market rents there are no easy answers. Removing rent controls is problematic as is not doing so. As a province though lets at least pick the low hanging fruit which is removing rent controls on new builds.

Moving forward I hope Brad West channels his energy and enthusiasm to pursue solutions which don’t worsen the long-term housing challenges many British Columbians face.

Of course, it is much easier politically to find a band-aid solution, identify a scapegoat, and move on up.

Final #bcpoli
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