Rally to Ban Renovictions

COPE announced our Three steps to a Rent Freeze plan at a campaign rally in September, where a tenant under pressure of renoviction named Travis and I smashed a “4% rent increase” piñata with a Rent Freeze bat. Remember the three steps?

They were: 1) Stop renovictions, 2) Track all rent increases through a municipal landlord registry, and 3) Stop annual rent increases for four years.

The first meeting of the new Vancouver City Council is approaching, so today I’ll be submitting my first notice of a motion as a COPE City Councillor. We said our first step toward a Rent Freeze is to ban renovictions and that’s what we’re going to fight for.

The motion, if it passes, will stop most renovictions in Vancouver by strengthening the City’s Tenant Relocation and Protection policy. It also aims to remove the incentive to renovict by controlling rents between tenancies -- using every municipal tool while also pushing Victoria to bring in vacancy control province-wide.

This motion has been drafted in consultation with tenants who are facing renovictions in Vancouver right now. Thousands of tenants across the city are fighting an epidemic of renovictions. Recently, tenant Vivian Baumann won a court ruling saying that if a tenant agrees to accommodate a renovation, there’s no need for the tenancy to end. The landlord lobby is appealing the decision this Friday, so the Vancouver Tenants Union is hosting a rally across the street from the courthouse outside a notorious company that specializes in renovictions called VS Rentals.

What: Rally to Ban Renovictions
When: Friday, Nov 9, at 12:15-1:15pm
Where: VS Rentals, 938 Howe St, Vancouver
RSVP: On the Facebook event page here

Will you join me, COPE, and the Vancouver Tenants Union at the rally to support brave tenants from six apartment buildings under threat of renoviction and to build support for the motion I’ll be putting forward to City Council? It’s time for Vancouver City Council to update its policies to reflect that these renovictions come at a huge cost to the city and that they're illegal!

If you’re a tenant facing renoviction, or if you can speak in favour of this motion at city council, get in touch with the Vancouver Tenants Union at tenantsunion.yvr@gmail.com

With thousands of rental units being bought up this year alone, we need a ban on renovictions immediately. If City Council delays action, we could lose over 2% of our affordable rental stock this year. Let’s send the message loud and clear: We have to ban renovictions now!

Jean Swanson
COPE City Councillor

Friday, November 9, 2018 - 12:15