Housing Justice in a Climate Emergency

Intersecting Tenant Vulnerabilities to Extreme Weather. 

In partnership with the Tenant Resource Advisory Centre (TRAC).  

In the past year, British Columbia has become a global frontline in the fight for affordable and secure housing in the face of unrelenting extreme weather. Recent research has found that Metro Vancouver is the eviction capital of Canada with almost 11% of residents reporting evictions in the last 5 years. Climate change induced extreme weather is exacerbating housing precarity across the province. The 2021 summer heat dome, for example, was responsible for the death of 595 people, making it the deadliest weather event in Canadian history. Almost all of these deaths occurred at home or in a hotel and disproportionately impacted the elderly, disabled, and poor. In these intersecting crises of housing and climate, tenants are left in unsafe conditions with little recourse. Preliminary research suggests that adaptation proposals to prevent housing and climate crises leave tenants unprotected and may lead to climate renovictions. Housing advocates struggle to push for structural change to tenant protections because they lack the data demonstrating the unequal impacts of housing injustice intensified by climate change. To understand how housing and climate injustice are impacting tenants, we—two members of the UBC Centre for Climate Justice (CCJ)—are partnering with BC’s Tenant Resources and Advisory Centre (TRAC). Starting Spring 2022

This project is supported by an SSHRC Explore Grant.


 Rafi ArefinRachel Stern 


This research contributes to scholarly work on housing and climate justice and to tenant advocacy and policy in BC. Together, we will write a policy report to inform the debates in affordable housing, decarbonization, and climate adaptation. We will also submit an academic paper to the Radical Housing Journal outlining our method for community engaged research in housing and climate justice.