West 4th demoviction

On Feb 26, 2019 another development on the West 4th Ave was approved. This development demolishes an old thrift store on the 4th and Cypress and demovicts tenants in a single family house.

Unlike tenants on the last two demovicted sites, the tenants in this house were not even protected by the City’s Tenant Protection and Relocation, so there was very little discussion of the City’s responsibility to protect them, or at the very least not incentivize their demoviction with public subsidies. These tenants will not be receiving any compensation or offer of relocation. (you can sign this petition to help and change that)

At this project rents start $1646 and $1903 for studio and one bedroom. Once again council voted in favour of the project with the justification that not doing so would be “unfair to developers” after all that they have gone through to prepare this proposal. The problem with this narrative is that it consider public hearings fait accomplis and the developer entitled to approval of project for having simply applied.

Another troubling aspect of the rent levels in these projects is that only the initial rent is controlled; after the first tenant moves out the rents can be brought back up to market levels. This is why councillor Swanson tried to introduce an amendment on this project to cap rent increases at the annual maximum set by the Province, regardless of tenant turnover (what is often called “vacancy control”). The amendment initially passed, but was rescinded after a warning from the City manager.

Read more about it here and here.