***For immediate release***
March 2, 2022
At our General Meeting on February 20, VTU members passed a motion supporting the following municipal policy demands...
Protections for all renters to stay in rooted in their homes and communities
- Use municipal powers to implement vacancy control (rent control tied to the unit)
- Use municipal powers to stop renovictions (evictions for renovations and repairs)
- Stop displacement caused by demovictions (evictions for demolition of a suite)
- Tenants should have the right to move back into new suite at the same rent they were paying
- Landlords should top up a tenant’s rent while the new suite is under construction (similar to Burnaby)
- Make municipal Tenant Assistance/Protection Policies universally applicable to all tenancy situations
Crack down on Slumlords
- Enforce standards and maintenance bylaws and implement stronger fines for violations
- Create a public-facing landlord registry, including a requirement to list the historical rents on units (similar to Montreal)
Housing Justice for our unhoused neighbours
- End street sweeps of unhoused people's shelters and belongings and instead arrange for adequate housing
- Dissolve the Memorandum of Understanding on Support for Unsheltered Vancouver Residents that enables government sanctioned harassment of unhoused people
- Support the demands of C.R.A.B. park residents as stated in their 2020 letter: building 10,000 units of dignified social housing, returning land around C.R.A.B. park to the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations and building a healing lodge
Create dignified, de-commodified housing across the city
- Implement progressive property taxation to fund non-market housing
- Give municipalities a right of first refusal to buy and convert properties into social housing or co-ops
- Create a municipally-controlled and transparently administered land trust for social/co-op housing, using currently available city-owned land
- Absolutely no more private for-profit developments on public land and no sales of public lands to private entities
- Mandate a humane minimum unit size for new developments to account for different stages of life and different family compositions
- Use municipal powers to end “no pets” clauses
VTU members have mobilized at Vancouver city hall for key protections for renters over the past several years, however the passing of motions has not led to systemic changes that renters need. The city has instead stalled, diluted and otherwise undermined pro-tenant policies in favour of protecting the profits of landlords and developers.
The above policy demands were developed by VTU members to reflects our experiences as renters and offer examples of how municipal governments could set policies aligned with housing justice.
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