Towards a More Equitable Housing System: Is Vancouver a City for Renters?

With the majority of the city’s residents living in rental housing, what does this mean for the next generation of Vancouverites? Or for seniors and families, for low-income, racialized and marginalized households, and for the many others who do not see a secure housing future in Vancouver?
How must the City of Vancouver think differently about housing and the housing market to better meet the needs of its residents, ensuring priority for those with the greatest need? And how can a new city-wide plan ensure the urgent and transformative change necessary to establish an equitable housing system?
Join us to discuss these questions at our free webinar on January 21, the second event in “The Future We Want: The Change We Need” series, hosted by the City of Vancouver in partnership with SFU Public Square, the SFU City Program, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement and SFU Urban Studies.
Towards a More Equitable Housing System:
Is Vancouver a City for Renters?

Thursday, January 21
3 p.m.–5 p.m. PST
Speakers: Khelsilem (Squamish Nation Councillor), William Azaroff, Leilani Farha, Evan Siddall, Barbara Steenbergen, Andy Yan
Moderators: Kerry Gold, Meg Holden

​Register Here: https://www.sfu.ca/publicsquare/upcoming-events/the-future-we-want/towards-a-more-equitable-housing-system.html

Letter to Council: please defeat motion to rescind protection of rental units on Commercial Drive and other C-2 zones

Here’s an update. Mayor Kennedy Stewart withdrew his motion. This was announced via the City Clerk’s twitter:
Council Members’ Motion B4 – Rescinding Motion to Include C-2 Zones in Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan, has been withdrawn.
However, for the rental protection changes to take effect, City staff still have yet to produce a report with bylaw changes in a Policy Report. The Policy Report would then need to be referred to a future Public Hearing. We’ll keep you posted about how staff progress with C-2 rental protections.

Our original post is below.
GWAC opposes the motion by Mayor Kennedy Stewart to rescind the protection of rental units along Commercial Drive and in other parts of Vancouver that fall under the C-2 zoning designation.​ This motion is on the Council agenda for Tuesday, March 12th.
​The following letter was sent to Council with the support of  GWAC and other community groups in the Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods:

Re: Motion B.4 – Rescinding Motion to Include C-2 Zones in Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan
May 12 Council Item B.4: https://council.vancouver.ca/documents/b4.pdf
The Coalition of Vancouver Neighbourhoods (CVN) opposes this Motion to rescind the previous directions from Council.
City Council, on November 26, 2019, voted by majority:
THAT Council instruct staff to prepare a report for consideration for referral to public hearing to amend the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan to extend rental replacement requirements to C-2, C-2C, C-2B and C-2B-1 zoning districts city-wide.
There exist, at present, arterial and high streets in neighbourhoods across Vancouver with C-2 zones. This zoning includes many grandfathered existing rental buildings, sometimes with residential rental units on all floors, some with residential rental above commercial, in a 3 or 4-storey form. These C-2 zones can be found on portions of streets including West 4th Avenue, Main Street, Commercial Drive, Kingsway, West 41st Avenue, Fraser, Victoria, East Hastings and Dunbar. Under existing conditions, these affordable rental units can be torn down and replaced with market condos.
The Mayor, through this Motion, is calling for the removal of this rental protection. Previously, through their vote, Council directed staff to draft changes to include C-2 in the Rental Housing Stock Official Development Plan to be brought forward at a future public hearing. The Rental Housing Stock ODP, which includes a “rate of change” policy that requires that rental units be replaced one-for-one in any redevelopment of a property, also provides for a tenant relocation policy.
In a time of extremely low vacancy rate for rental accommodation, we need to defeat this attempt to reverse the will of Council, and support the extension of rental protections to the C-2 zones.

Uniting Renters in Vancouver and Grandview-Woodland (June 5, 2017)

This coming Monday, June 5th at 7PM, join GWAC for:

Uniting Renters in Vancouver and Grandview Woodland

The Grandview-Woodland Renters Action Group and the Vancouver Tenants Union will be co-presenting at our forum on uniting renters in Vancouver and  Grandview-Woodland.

A discussion will follow the presentation.

Please come to share your stories and ideas.

Location: Learning Resource Centre, under the Library, at the Britannia Community Centre

Calling All Renters. Monday, June 6th

  • Worried about rent increases and renovictions? 
  • Nowhere to move because everything has got so expensive? 

The City of Vancouver will release a new neighbourhood plan for Grandview-Woodland this summer or fall. The plan will likely bring even more development and pressure on rent. Join us to talk with activists from neighbourhoods that have already been through the planning process and are fighting for the rights of renters. Find out about their struggles, the pressures on Co-ops, and policies in Vancouver that affect renters. Let’s talk about what we can do to make secure and stable rental homes in Grandview-Woodland.

June 6, 2016 (Monday)
7 to 9pm

Canuck Family Education Centre
1655 William Street, entrance off Grandview Park
Speakers TBA

Here are a few links to tenant resources for background information only:
http://tenants.bc.ca/
http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/housing-tenancy/residential-tenancies
http://vancouver.ca/your-government/renters-advisory-committee.aspx

After June 6th, the next two GWAC community meetings will be held on July 11th and September 12th. The themes for these upcoming meetings will be announced in the near future.