“We will not stop organizing for justice for Burnaby’s renters!”
Posted November 12, 2015
On Friday, November 6, the City of Burnaby published a report on the city’s “Growth Management and Housing Policies in Burnaby” outlining the city’s work on housing affordability, and their inability to enact measures to protect affordable rental housing stock in the city.
Posted November 12, 2015
On Friday, November 6, the City of Burnaby published a report on the city’s “Growth Management and Housing Policies in Burnaby” outlining the city’s work on housing affordability, and their inability to enact measures to protect affordable rental housing stock in the city. This report was created as a response to the concerns brought on June 24, 2015 when dozens of upset Burnaby ACORN members, allies, and neighbourhood residents attended the public hearing for the rezoning application to demolish yet another Metrotown-area affordable rental building Silver and Beresford. The community wants to see an end to the demolition of rental housing in Burnaby, and for the city to listen to Burnaby’s working-class renters.
The report was presented and approved by council at their meeting three days later, with no input from the public and little opportunity for citizens to review it beforehand. The day of the council meeting, members and allies called a press conference to denounce the report, and later attended the council meeting so councilors could see that their “business as usual” attitude is not okay (see media links below).
The document outlines the city’s inability to address the public’s concerns, and effectively lays the groundwork for the future approval to demolish any other affordable rental building in Burnaby. According to the report, if a developer has met all the requirements for the issuance of permits, then the city can’t do a thing about the demolition of hundreds of affordable rental homes. So, as a member pointed out, “Why do these rezoning applications even have public hearings, or have to be approved by council at a council meeting, if the demolition is a foregone conclusion?” Indeed, why seek public input or have a vote if no one on council can object? It is meaningless.
ACORN members and allies the Alliance Against Displacement and the Metrotown Residents Association aren’t buying it. Council throwing their arms up in the air saying there is nothing they can do to prevent the displacement of thousands of Burnaby residents will never be accepted. If neighbouring cities like New West and the District of North Vancouver are working on it, why can’t they? Inaction on the city’s part is not how city officials should represent their constituents – they need to do more. We will continue to organize for justice.
Picture courtesy of Ivan Drury of the Alliance Against Displacement
24 Hours Vancouver: Burnaby slammed for housing policies
Global News: Burnaby votes to re-zone affordable housing
Breakfast Television: ACORN members fight back against Burnaby demovictions