On Jan 17, 2019 Vancouver City council approved the demoviction of a Hastings Sunrise rental building that houses a small community of low income working class women of colour renting 1 and 2 bedroom units between $650 to $800, in order to make room for “affordable” market rates starting from $1400 for a studio and $2500 for a two bedroom.
VTU spoke on behalf of tenants because they were either unable to represent themselves or unwilling for the fear of repercussions. We asked that the 8 existing tenants be rehoused in the new development at their current or similar rents. The council heard that demand and asked staff to negotiate with the developer in order to provide that.
They reported back that doing so would not make the project unviable, but it would make the profit margin small enough that they won’t be interested in pursuing. They did not say that they will be pursuing condos instead; yet, council still chose to grant the project approval with the demoviction anyway, instead of rejecting this project and using rental only zoning to ban condo development on site in order to push toward a more affordable development or the retainment and retrofit of the existing building.
The council had many options but they chose the option that would please the developer the most.
Read more of our reporting on this case here.