Vancouver boosting compensation as part of new renter protections
Downtown Vancouver is seen in the background as a house sits on top of a small island in West Vancouver, B.C., on June 10, 2013. (The Canadian Press/Jonathan Hayward)
Vancouver City Council sided with staff Tuesday to approve a range of measures to help protect renters, including doubling compensation for displaced tenants.
The measures also include the creation of a renter's office, strengthening protections to avert renovictions and providing more help for seniors, people with disabilities and low-income residents to find housing.
In a release, Vancouver's mayor says Vancouver renters will now have more protection than anywhere else in the country.
"These new measures provide an aggressive but thoughtful approach and sends a strong message that Vancouver will do everything in our power to stand up for renters while encouraging the development of new rental stock," said Kennedy Stewart in the release.
The city says it worked with various advocacy groups, Landlord BC, non-profit housing providers and other stakeholders over the course of four months to come up with actions to help tenants.
The Tenant Relocation and Protection Policy will be the first to change, with more compensation, more assistance for vulnerable renters, increasing communication requirements between landlords and tenants and developing a new approach for social housing providers.
The creation of a renter's centre was pushed by staff, who even pinpointed a potential location for it.
"While the existing landscape of multiple service providers in multiple locations has created a diverse, community-embedded set of services and supports, the sector lacks a strong centre to bring presence, visibility and profile to the needs of renters," reads a staff report on the renter's centre,
The city says it will also work to strengthen protections to help those facing renovictions.