The rapid decline of rental housing stock nationwide is most starkly apparent in Burnaby, ground zero of a redevelopment craze that has led to a massive loss of 478 apartments from 2010 to 2016.
The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation noted that this is a significant deviation from other localities in the Greater Vancouver Area, which have seen minor gains at best in the same time frame.
“When you compare it to the other municipalities, it is somewhat shocking,” Metrotown Residents’ Association founder Rick McGowan told Metro Vancouver
. “But it’s not unexpected when you look at Metrotown, where most of those apartments have been lost. It’s been happening since about 2013.”
The development frenzy has seen a mad dash of purchases for the older structures in the area, which would then be refurbished into high-rise condominiums. Much of the old buildings are mid-rise apartments dating from at least three decades ago, with McGowan noting that approximately 600 apartments are at risk.
However, a wave of “demovictions” in the wake of this craze has led to intensified calls for a halt to the rezonings and a thorough review of the city government’s plans for the area.
CMHC: National rental availability up, but trend-setting cities still tight
Commentary: Prejudice against renters is misplaced and self-defeating