(News files)

Tenant relocation plan recommended in Victoria city staff report

City to consider renter protection program Thursday

The City of Victoria is considering new protections for tenants in hopes of improving stability for renters.

City staff recommended that a bylaw be enacted to regulate maintenance standards of rental buildings, and a tenant relocation policy created to increase stability for renters. Intense competition for rental accommodation in Victoria can leave tenants vulnerable to housing instability through substandard conditions and insecure tenancy, according to the report.

Council was will receive an interim report Thursday, recommending methods the City can use to preserve the existing stock of affordable market rental units, and measures to protect tenants when their homes are demolished, redeveloped, or renovated. The recommendations are part of the ongoing Market Rental Revitalization Study (MaRRS).

RELATED: Low-income tenants in Victoria reno project worry where they’ll end up

Jonathan Tinney, director of sustainable planning and community development, said other cities have created bylaws to impose minimum standards to keep rental buildings safer for residents.

While other protections do exist in other City regulations, a bylaw would pull them all together to provide tools for bylaw officers to deal with “problem properties.”

“Right now we have a property maintenance bylaw that basically tells people to cut their lawns and not leave garbage on your front step,” Tinney said. “Unless its an egregious, life-safety issue, we don’t have the ability to mandate that owners uphold basic levels of maintenance.”

RELATED: Property owner defends ‘renovictions’ decision

The other aspect is what he calls the renter transition policy. It could include, for instance, how much notice owners need to provide tenants before evicting for redevelopment, or how many months of rent they should provide to help tenants find new accommodation.

Tinney anticipates staff will come to council in February or March with the full MaRRS report, which would recommend incentives to building owners to make improvements, including energy efficiency and seismic upgrades, while also protecting the rental housing stock and treating current tenants well.

lauren.boothby@vicnews.com

Just Posted

B.C. government invests $1.9 billion in community housing

14,000 mixed-income affordable units to be built with local housing providers, advocates

Complaint filed against B.C. naturopath who treated boy with rabid dog saliva

BC Naturopathic Association questions Dr. Anke Zimmermann’s conduct on recent treatments

Girls soccer team kicks off at Sooke school

Squad hits pitch for first time eight years

Manak calls Const. Ian Jordan fallen hero

Late Victoria cop mourned at funeral by officers from numerous local, out-of-town jurisdictions

North Saanich added to list of places that want tax exemption

District seeks meeting with Province about alternatives

Shania Twain visits Canadian Armed Forces base in B.C.

Canadian country icon thanks members of CFB Esquimalt for their service

Why a 14-year-old will lead the charge at annual marijuana protest on the Hill

Marijuana enthusiasts have long been circling April 20 on their calendars as annual day of cannabis

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

B.C. communities await marine spill compensation years after incidents

The government maintains a Ship Source Oil Pollution Fund to compensate Canadians

RCMP say too early to know what happened in Broncos crash

RCMP Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki said collission very complex

Conservative MP wants feds to close loophole for illegal border crossers

Immigration advocates call on government to suspend Canada-U.S. Safe Third Country Agreement

Alberta university criticized for honouring David Suzuki

University of Alberta plans to bestow environmentalist with honourary degree

B.C. First Nations get clarity on fishing rights from top court

Nations call federal government to settle fishing rights ‘within the true meaning of reconciliation’

Judge to decide Friday if fatal B.C. school stabbing suspect is fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein could have trial of Abbotsford case delayed because of mental health issues

Most Read