Hong Kong Social Entrepreneur Pitches Rental Affordability Solution for Vancouver

Light Be, a Hong Kong for-profit company that aims to achieve social outcomes, connects needy applicants with discount rentals, but terms of arrangement clash with B.C. law.

Social entrepreneur Ricky Yu is considering expanding to B.C.'s Lower Mainland, and has already reached out to some individual property owners in B.C. According to Yu, he's interested in introducing his program to other big cities especially Vancouver, because there's a high proportion of Chinese that makes me feel easier.

Yu is a multinational company executive turned CEO of Light Be. The social enterprise makes its money by taking a variable percentage of the rent paid to landlords, and is sponsored by two charitable foundations affiliated with prominent real estate developers in Hong Kong.

Yu points out that some Canadians living in B.C. are already part of the network of landlords who lease their vacant Hong Kong apartments with Light Be. Light Be requires tenants to move out after three years.

B.C. Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing in a statement to CBC News said that landlords could not include a maximum length for tenure as fixed-term leases are no longer allowed in B.C.

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