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City recommends new protections for Vancouver’s tenants and rental housing stock

December 4 2015

Condos in Vancouver

Recommendations to strengthen protection for Vancouver’s tenants and further safeguard the current rental housing stock will be brought forward to Council on December 10, 2015.

Renters in Vancouver, who make up more than 50% of the households, face:

  • Mounting challenges due to low vacancy
  • Rising rents
  • Growing risk of having to move because of renovation or redevelopment of their homes

While renovation and redevelopment help to renew and maintain the existing rental stock, these activities also impact tenants and can cause displacement. 

Proposed policy and guideline will be the strongest in BC

The proposed Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy and Guidelines will be the strongest in British Columbia, with recommendations to Council that include:

  • Expanding tenant relocation plan requirements to all zoning districts, except single family, industrial, and agricultural areas
  • Increasing tenant compensation, with up to six months of free rent for tenancies over 20 years
  • Increasing compensation for moving costs, up to $1,000
  • Additional support for vulnerable tenants
  • Requiring developers to provide tenants who request assistance a minimum of three options for alternative accommodation at no more than CMHC average rents for the area

These recommendations resulted from a Council directive in May 2015 for staff to report back with ways to increase protection for renters impacted by redevelopment or renovation activities and explore opportunities to preserve the existing rental stock.

Renter's Advisory Committee recommendations

The Renter’s Advisory Committee also put forward a series of recommendations on November 18, 2015, in a report to Council that identified changes to the Province’s Residential Tenancy Act that would increase support and protection for renters and affordable housing in Vancouver.

The Committee’s recommendations emphasize several broad goals:

  • Clarify landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities
  • Modernize Residential Tenancy Branch monitoring and dispute systems 
  • Strengthen protections and affordability for low-income renters
  • Advance security and stability of tenure for renters

Read the Renter’s Advisory Committee report

Rentals are key priority

Vancouver provides nearly half of the rental housing in the entire Lower Mainland and more than a quarter of the rental housing for all of British Columbia. Renting makes it possible for low and moderate income households to live in Vancouver and remains a key priority for us as part of Vancouver’s Housing and Homelessness Strategy.

City Council approved more than 1,000 new units of rental housing this year, compared to zero in 2008 and 2009. We have also launched a Rental Standards Database and renewed investment for the Vancouver Rent Bank, both of which assist vulnerable renters.

Read the full report to Council