Activist experience to aid tenant involvement in huge B.C. suburb



BC ACORN Tenants Activate Housing Policy project

Parent organization

BC’s Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, Canada (BC ACORN)

Grant stream

Community-Based Tenant Initiative Fund


Surrey, British Columbia



British Columbia has the highest rate of evictions and foreclosure in the country, according to Statistics Canada. Weak tenant protection laws have allowed exploitative tactics to flourish, with developers and landlords using loopholes and intimidation to push tenants out and increase rents. This disproportionately affects lower-income workers and recent immigrants who are often unaware of their rights and the housing situation at large. BC ACORN has a long history of organizing in low- and moderate-income neighbourhoods, helping tenants access their rights while building empowerment in the process. Banking on their success in New Westminster and Burnaby B.C.—where they succeeded in promoting the development of municipal housing policies to tackle tenant displacement, the loss of affordable rentals and poor housing—BC ACORN wants to expand tenant organizing into the major Vancouver suburb of Surrey, where a significant immigration-background population faces severe housing issues such as overcrowding and buildings in disrepair.

The Centre has awarded $47,000 in support of the BC ACORN Tenants Activate Housing Policy Project that will build on these existing tenant-protection policies. BC ACORN will reach out to the most vulnerable tenants via door-to-door canvassing and phone calls. They will be invited to attend information sessions on municipal housing policy, and then invited to join a newly formed tenant working group. This working group will then develop policy recommendations to strengthen tenants’ rights in Surrey. This initiative will directly affect 350 tenants while reaching roughly 3,000 in the city of 571,000.


The British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU), Surrey Poverty Reduction roundtable and the Vancouver Tenant Union

Awarded projects

Discover a selection of some of the Centre's many approved projects that are transforming the community-housing sector.

Local Projects

Improved services through transformative projects inspiring meaningful change in local communities

Sectoral Impact Projects

Transformative projects bringing more or improved services to housing providers

Community-Based Tenant Initiative

Empowering tenants and their transformative projects by funding housing providers and tenant organizations
Share This