Work with the province to give local governments more tools to stop renovictions and encourage landlords to complete building upgrades without evicting tenants.
"Renovictions have been devastating to families in our community, and local governments need better tools to be able to protect renters and ensure people are not being forced out of their homes." Jonathan X. Cote
New Westminster's rental housing strategy has been very successful in preventing the demolition of existing rental buildings and encouraging the development of new rental housing. Our city has seen a growing number of renovictions, where residents of entire rental buildings are being evicted to allow for renovations and upgrades. Unfortunately, the process for initiating renovictions is governed by the provincial government and the Residential Tenancy Act, and to date the city has lacked the tools to be able to intervene. To address the issues, the city needs to work with the provincial government. We need tools to incentivize landlords to complete renovations without evicting tenants, such as a tax deferral program (similar to the deferral program for seniors). Additional strategies need to be put in place to make renovictions less of a go-to option for landlords, and to penalize those who unnecessarily evict tenants. This "carrot and stick" approach will help our community ensure we have a healthy stock of well-maintained, purpose-built rental housing — and that renters are being properly protected.