Dear Mayor and Councillors,
I am writing to urge you to amend the Broadway Plan to include real renter protections.
The aging rental buildings in Broadway are one of the last pockets of affordability left in the City. This Broadway Plan provided an opportunity to renew these buildings in a manner that creates more affordable housing for everyone in Vancouver.
But the Broadway plan presented to the Vancouver City Council will result in the demovictions and displacement of vulnerable long-term renters.
While the plan calls for “right of first refusal,” the tenants will have to return to their units at much higher rates.
Below is the what Broadway Plan being presented to Vancouver City Council says about right of first refusal:
12.1.3 Offer the right of first refusal to existing tenants to return to a new rental unit at a 20% discount to city-wide average market rents by unit type for the City of Vancouver as published annually by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) in the Rental Market Report.
The CMHC Rental Market Survey shows that rents in Vancouver grew at 6% before the pandemic hit. Unofficial statistics show that as pandemic travel restrictions ease, and more units get gobbled up by Airbnb and other short-term rentals, rents are increasing at double digit rates.
A 20% discount means that any tenant who has been in their place for more than three years will end up paying more rent. A tenant who moved in 10 years prior would end up paying as much 50% more over and above inflation under the Broadway Plan.
Imagine paying $1,000 for your one-bedroom apartment one day and having to pay $1,500 the next. That’s what will happen to a tenant who moved in in 2012 under the Broadway Plan.
Please amend the plan to ensure that renters are able to return at rents no higher than what they paid at the time they moved out of their units.
As well, please make it crystal clear that the new rental units are substantially similar to the ones that the tenants moved out of, especially in terms of size. I urge you to amend the wording of the “right of first refusal” as follows
12.1.3 Offer the right of first refusal to existing tenants to return to a new rental unit with rents being no greater than what they paid at the time they moved out of their units. The new rental units will be substantially similar to the ones that the tenants moved out of, especially in terms of square footage.
3 thoughts on “Petition: Broadway plan must protect renters from demoviction”
Tearing down affordable rental is not the way to increase affordable rental. The historical failure of developers and city government in this area mandates the need for a small scale model that can be shown to work as it is supposed to, not a rash leap into a mega project which we find out retroactively, has once again failed to provide affordable housing.
Firstly, one SIN one home. There’s no good reason for a person to own more than one home. While land-lording is an amazingly sweet deal for the one who gets a renter to pay down their mortgage, its got to come to an end. How this end comes about is debatable, but the financalization of housing is ruining us.
Also, Knocking down dense housing to build denser housing disturbs way more people than building density where there’s a private golf course, warehousing or a few very large homes with large lots.
Despite supposed action by gov’t, there are numerous short-term rentals in the city. Often more than one, run by an owner. Set up a system where short-term rentals are allowed by lottery system, that lets an owner, who owns just one, to rent for a designated period.