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First working council meeting tomorrow; apartment owners on red alert

December 16th, 2008 · 10 Comments

Who needs It’s a Wonderful Life or Miracle on Whatever Street as pre-Christmas entertainment, when Vancouver’s new dust-busting council is on the go?

Tomorrow will be the first council meeting with real business and a chance to see Dr. Penny Ballem in the city manager’s chair.

In the meantime, Vision councillors have a raft of motions on the new agenda to kick off their new era. Among them is Councillor Tim Stevenson’s motion to ask the provincial government to stiffen up the Residential Tenancy Act.

That has apartment owners and sellers in a tizzy, warning that council is “attempting to influence the provincial government.” Uh, boys, that’s what they do every day of the week. It’s their job.

Anyway, my guess is that most of the actions in Stevenson’s are unlikely to go anywhere with this government or even, in a parallel universe, an NDP government. A nice gesture, though.

There is a chance the provincial government might move to provide a few more protection for renters, given that their NPA friends probably told them that, in the recent civic election, the NPA couldn’t even get renters to talk to them. Maybe because they feel like they’ve been thrown out to the wolves the last few years, as they grappled with rising rents, economic evictions, demolitions, a zero vacancy rate, and everything else that strikes fear into the heart of renters. By the way, the latest CMHC report came out today and the vacancy rate is now at 0.3 per cent.

Anyway, this is what’s going around in the landlord-type circles.

From: Mark Goodman [mailto:mark@goodmanreport.com]
Sent: Friday, December 12, 2008 4:38 PM
To: [deleted]
Subject: The Goodman Report: Councillor’s plan to protect renters is a recipe for slums


Dear [deleted],

While The Goodman Team was not planning to publish any further newsworthy items until the New Year, unfolding events dictate that we immediately address issues that we consider vital to our readership. There are growing concerns that Vancouver city council is attempting to influence the provincial government, as predicted by The Goodman Report a couple days ago, wherein we commented on “the spectre of increased government action concerning evictions and renovations.”

In today’s Vancouver Sun, in the front page article Councillor’s plan to protect renters is a recipe for slums, columnist Don Cayo writes, “Specifically, it calls on the province to amend the Residential Tenancy Act to require landlords to allow tenants evicted for the purpose of renovations to reoccupy their units once renovations are completed at the same rent as they were paying prior to the renovation.” David Goodman is on record in the forgoing article decrying the fact that Vancouver city council is advocating that landlords “subsidize tenants by making new investments that are guaranteed to show no return.”

Read: Councillor’s plan to protect renters is a recipe for slums >>

Further, Mary Francis Hill writes in The Vancouver Sun today on the same topic.

Read: Councillor Stevenson urges eviction protection for tenants >>

Included in Councillor Stevenson’s and Mayor Robertson’s motion to go towards Council next Tuesday, Dec 16th include:

  • “First right of refusal” for rental tenants whereby landlords cannot raise rents even after substantial renovations
  • Giving the City the authority to demand improvements on apartment buildings wherever and whenever they deem necessary
  • Eviction notices to extend from 60 to 90 days
  • Landlords to report to the Residential Tenancy Branch annually all turnovers, rent increases, and reasons for eviction.

To better appreciate the serious ramifications of Council’s initiative, please
download the
MOTION ON NOTICE >>

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Be proactive and write your MLA, write the City of Vancouver, write the media and to the Mayor Gregor Robertson and Councillor Tim Stevenson.

Mayor and Council as a group: mayorandcouncil@vancouver.ca

Mayor Gregor Robertson
gregor.robertson@vancouver.ca

Phone: 604.873.7621
Fax: 604.873.7750

Councillor Tim Stevenson
clrstevenson@vancouver.ca

Phone: 604.873.7247
Fax: 604.873.7750

WRITE A LETTER TO THE EDITOR

British Columbia Newspapers

Vancouver Sun
sunletters@png.canwest.com

Vancouver Province
provletters@png.canwest.com

Local Newspapers

Vancouver Courier
editorial@vancourier.com

Westender
editor@westender.com

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CMHC Fall 2008 Greater Vancouver Rental Market Report
To further assist our readership in setting their suite rentals at appropriate levels, we are delighted to share with you the just released CMHC Fall 2008 Greater Vancouver Rental Market Report.

Vancouver Highlights: Strong Demand for Rental Housing

  • Vancouver’s rental apartment vacancy rate moved lower in 2008, after two years of stable but already low vacancies
  • Same sample rents increased at a slightly slower pace than last year
  • The stock of purpose-built rental apartments declined in 2008, while the number of rental apartment condominium units increased
  • The rental condominium vacancy rate rose slightly compared to 2007, but remained below one per cent
  • Vacancy rates will stay below one per cent in 2009, while rents will continue to edge up in the 3-5 per cent range

CMHC Fall 2008 Greater Vancouver Rental Market Report >>

Yours sincerely,

David & Mark Goodman

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