Posted November 20, 2019
New developments should not be allowed to proceed unless displaced tenants are provided stable rent in the same area. That’s coming from advocates set to speak out against rezoning in Metrotown on Tuesday night.
Four rezoning applications are before Burnaby city council, and renter advocates argue they should be put on hold until tenants have another place to go at the same rent they were paying before.
Metrotown has been the site of renovictions and demovictions for a number of years, as the area holds a high concentration of Burnaby’s rental housing.
Murray Martin with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, is a part of the fight.
“We’re saying none of these demoviction applications should be put through until we see that developers are following these new recommendations of the Mayor’s Task Force,” he says. “Developers are using intimidation, cash buyouts, they’re not doing maintenance in the buildings.”
“Demoviction” is a term used to refer to the practice of evicting tenants in order to demolish the building they live in.
Martin is also calling for the province to take a more active role in preventing these and similar renovictions, in which tenants are evicted to make way for renovations.
He’s also concerned that developers will not honour promises made to house tenants at stable rents when they are displaced.
But Burnaby Mayor Mike Hurley insists the city will ensure the residents are looked after.
“No one will get final reading, so they won’t be able to move forward with their project unless everything’s been followed to the T, what we have laid out. So that will be the recourse,” he says.
The meeting takes place on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m.
Article by Martin MacMahon for News 1130