Forty BC ACORN members and allies rallied outside 404 7th Street yesterday to fight against the renovictions and gentrification that are pricing tenants out of the City. Renovictions are a tool that greedy property owners use to push out tenants in order to drive up rents, citing renovations as a reason to displace residents. Tenants in the building have been told that they need to vacate their units for renovations to take place, but if they want to move back in, their rent will be doubled. ACORN members came out in full force to stand up to the property owner, along with supportive City Councillors, Jaimie McEvoy and Patrick Johnstone.
ACORN members believe that the action successfully captured the public's attention on this urgent issue and aim to build on this momentum to demand an end to the unfair practice of renovicting tenants. Members call upon the City and province to listen to tenants who are being forced out of their homes and into a precarious rental market where rents are skyrocketing and vacancy rates are plummeting. Demands include:
- Tenants do not have to vacate the property OR units are priced at 75% of average market rent in New Westminster for existing tenants who want to move back in, not the $1650 luxury rent that's being proposed;
- The province enforces laws against unjustified renovations;
- Rent is tied to the unit rather than to the lease, so landlords can't raise rents through the roof after tenants vacate the property;
- Inclusionary zoning: new developments should include a minimum of 30% deeply affordable units.
For now, ACORN will continue to fight against this renoviction and will be meeting with the newly created Rental Task Force, as well as reaching out to local MLA Judy Darcy and Housing Minister, Selina Robinson.
Breakfast Television: Concerns over so-called renovictions at an apartment building in New West.
New Westminster Record: New West tenants scramble to find housing in preparation for renovictions