COPE mayoral candidate Meena Wong has detailed the party’s pledge to ban renovictions.
Wong said today (October 20) that the Coalition of Progressive Electors would put a condition on renovation permits to “guarantee that tenants can move back at the same rent they were paying before”.
The party would also require landlords to provide proof that renovations are necessary, that units need to be vacant in order for the renovations to take place, and to agree to give the current tenant the right of first refusal to the unit once work is completed.
“It’s an inconvenience for tenants,” Wong told the Straight by phone.
“It’s extra cost to the tenants to move. I don’t think tenants should be burdened with the renovations, which would increase the value for the landlord.”
Under their proposal, COPE would also require landlords to cover moving costs for the current tenant and temporary accommodation expenses while renovations take place.
Wong noted that guidelines for renovation permits are under the city's authority.
Vision Vancouver councillor Geoff Meggs said the city is already taking steps against renovictions.
“Where we really want to emphasize our work is to make sure we deliver that 1,000 units of rental housing every year for the next four years, which will contribute significantly to the expansion of the rental stock,” he said in a phone interview.
According to Metro Vancouver statistics cited by COPE, average rents in Vancouver increased by 15 percent between 2008 and 2012.