Case worker Steve Wizzard wants renters in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to know the rent bank can help them get through tough times. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Case worker Steve Wizzard wants renters in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows to know the rent bank can help them get through tough times. (Neil Corbett/The News)

Rent bank not being used by Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows tenants

Lack of awareness about availability of no-interest loans to blame: Wizzard

When you’re business is giving out money, you expect to be busy.

The Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Rent Bank doesn’t exactly give money away, but it does provide interest-free loans for renters who are in danger of disappointing their landlords.

Steve Wizzard is a case worker at the local rent bank, which is run by the Lower Mainland Purpose Society for Youth and Families. He said a shocking number of people don’t know the rent bank exists, or what it is.

So working people who are struggling continue to use the services of payroll loan offices, which charge what he considers high fees for their loans. By contrast, rent banks allow low payments over multiple months – even years.

Anyone who is behind on their rent, needs assistance with next month’s rent, or behind in paying essential utilities is a potential client for the rent bank.

Funding for the Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Rent Bank has been provided by BC Rent Bank. The local office officially opened its doors in November 2020.

To date, it has supported just 15 people to remain housed.

By comparison, Wizzard noted that when a rent bank opened in Victoria, there were hundreds of applications in the first weeks.

One of the problems is the Maple Ridge location. Although the office is in the downtown core, on Dewdney Trunk Road, the main entrance is tucked away. It is beside the main entrance to Club 16, Trevor Linden Fitness, and is underneath a set of stairs to rooftop parking.

Wizzard simply knows there is demand that is not being met, he said.

READ ALSO: Rent banks open in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows for tenants in need

READ ALSO: Federal, B.C. governments announce $517-million rent aid program to help vulnerable

Many Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows renters have been impacted by the pandemic and public health orders resulting in layoffs, decreased work hours and businesses closing their doors. Low to moderate income renters are struggling to meet their monthly expenses, pay rent and are feeling the stress of possible eviction in the midst of a housing affordability crisis.

Rent banks help renters maintain their housing by providing low to moderate income households with no interest, low fee loans. Loans up to $1,400 for single renters and up to $1,700 for families (two or more people in a family relationship) are available. The repayment of these loans is within flexible time frames, to further assist people during this unexpected crises.

Rent banks assist both the clients and the landlords, as landlords are able to support and keep good tenants, he said. This leads to a more positive relationship between the renter and the landlord as well as providing housing stability.

The Maple Ridge/Pitt Meadows Rent Bank office is located at Suite 300 (third floor), 22420 Dewdney Trunk Rd.

Call 604-368-4585 or email

Have a story tip? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Langley Mustangs high jumper Aiden Grout, seen here in McLeod Athletic Park in Langley in 2019, has just qualified for several top international competitions, including the Olympic trials. (Photo courtesy Vid Wadhwani)
VIDEO: With one jump, Langley Mustangs high jumper Aiden Grout has qualified for three international competitions

Maple Ridge resident records new personal best at McLeod Athletic Park in Langley

Maple Ridge’s Eileen Robinson celebrated international Trails Day by hitting the Trans-Canada Trail in her hometown. It’s marked on the first Saturday of June, and encourages people to get out and use and enjoy their local trails, which both Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows have many. (Special to The News)
SHARE: Celebrating Trails Day by getting outdoors

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Shail Wolf admires the ancient tree the protesters have dubbed the grandmother. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
OUR VIEWS: Old-growth can kicked down the road

Latest deferral avoids a difficult conversation about how, when to stop logging our oldest forests

Maple Ridge brothers Paul and Johnnie Walker hit the trails at Rolley Lake, just across the border into Mission. Johnnie did the modelling both with the downed tree and at the waterfalls.(Special to The News)
SHARE: Discovering fun on Rolley trails

Send us your photo showing how you view Maple Ridge or Pitt Meadows, and it could be featured soon

Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

Most Read