(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

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Challengers topple incumbents in several South Island races

2018 civic election ushers in new faces across the CRD

Victoria and Saanich voters elect to move ahead with amalgamation talks

Victoria and Saanich voters have chosen to move ahead with exploring amalgamation… Continue reading

Prank pizzas delivered to Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps’ campaign celebration

The fake orders happened throughout Helps’ campaign

VIDEO: Tent city moves to Woodwynn Farm, arrests made

The group is asking the government to provide housing for 60 tent city members

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for Oct. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Canada condemns killing of journalist in Saudi Arabia consulate in Turkey

The Saudi government claimed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a ‘fistfight’

One year to election: Trudeau Liberals gear up for tussles on climate, premiers

Analysts say that the Liberals have reason to be ‘fairly confident’

Most Read