Vancouver mayor calls for action on affordability
Gregor Robertson, the mayor of Vancouver, has called on provincial lawmakers to take action to tackle the issue of housing affordability. He wants an overhaul of rental legislation and says that over half of the city’s households are renters and low vacancy rates are making rents unaffordable. Robertson wants a review of the Residential Tenancy Act with the aim of giving renters and low-income households more protection. There has also been a rise in the practice known as ‘renovictions’ where renters in older properties are forced out so that landlords can renovate ageing buildings. Not only does this displace tenants but the rents increase post-renovation so many of those forced out can afford to move back, and of course it takes lower cost rentals out of the market. Vacancy rates in parts of Vancouver are as low as 0.7 per cent with rents for a one-bedroom apartment in the West End averaging just short of $1200 per month.