Nelson group plans workshop on tenants rights

James Barbeiro is facing the camera, dressed in a red shirt and brown hat with nelson bc mountains in the background
James Barbeiro, member of the Nelson Tenants Union. Photo by John Rune/KCR.
John Rune - CJLY - KootenayBC | 23-01-2023
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A group fighting for renters rights in Nelson say more people should get involved in the cause.

On Jan. 28, the Nelson Tenants Union is inviting locals for a workshop for renters to better know their rights.

“The workshop is an opportunity for tenants within the community, or community as a whole to come together to learn about their own rights as tenants, how to exercise those rights, and connect with other tenants who also want to see some progress in the realm of housing,” said Nelson Tenants Union member James Barbeiro.

He says he came to Nelson about two years ago and ran right into the city’s notoriously tight housing market. Right now, he is sharing a house with five people, after finding that working two jobs to afford his own place took a too big of a toll on his mental health.

“It’s been a struggle, it is obviously super hard to find anything in the first place, let alone find anything affordable,” Barbeiro said.

For those managing to break into the market and secure a rental, Barbeiro said the jungle of home-made leases, poor maintenance and nepotism can throw wrenches into the system for anyone, and that the tenants union is a way to try and get renters to band together.

Late last year, an annual report suggested that Nelson has the second-highest rate of homelessness in the B.C interior. A point-in-time count held by local social agencies found 88 people had no home on Feb. 1, 2022. Of those individuals, 16 were spending the night outdoors.

Learn more about the tenants union here.

For more information on the Jan. 28 workshop, follow this link.

LISTEN - James Barbeiro on Kootenay Morning: