Yesterday, Vancouver City Council approved new policies to strengthen protection for Vancouver renters. The new Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy ensures that Vancouver provides the strongest protections for renters in British Columbia.
“The new Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy is another step that Council is taking to support Vancouver renters,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “We’re doing what we can to support tenants in a tough rental market, and we will continue to advocate to the provincial government for changes to the Residential Tenancy Act.”
More than 50% of households in Vancouver are renters. While the City’s first priority is to protect and preserve existing affordable housing, in cases where tenants are displaced through renovations or redevelopment, the new policy sets clear targets for compensating and supporting tenants.
The new Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy includes:
- Expanding tenant relocation plan requirements to all zoning districts, except single family and industrial;
- Increasing tenant compensation, with up to six months' free rent for tenancies over 20 years;
- Increasing compensation for moving costs, up to $1,000;
- The right of first refusal to move back into new developments at a discount of 20% below starting market rent.
Council also amended the policy to ensure that if a low income tenant is displaced, they are provided an alternative accommodation within 10% of their existing rent.
Vancouver provides nearly half of the rental housing in the Lower Mainland and more than a quarter of the rental housing for all of British Columbia. Rental units make it possible for low and moderate income households to live in Vancouver, and remain a key priority for the City as part of Vancouver’s Housing and Homelessness Strategy.
City Council approved more than 1,000 new units of rental housing this year, compared to zero in 2008 and 2009. The City has also launched the Rental Standards Database and renewed investment for the Vancouver Rent Bank, both of which assist vulnerable renters.
To learn more about the new protection measures, see: http://former.vancouver.ca/ctyclerk/cclerk/20151210/documents/ptec4.pdf