About 100 people gathered outside View Towers Wednesday to protest against what they say are unfair tenancy practices by the building’s owner.
Yuka Kurokama, tenant legal advocate with the Together Against Poverty Society, said the availability of affordable housing units in Victoria is razor-thin, and the landlord needs to be accountable for doing whatever they can to keep current tenants in View Towers.
“It is extremely difficult to secure long-term affordable housing in Victoria,” she said. “We’re here so the tenants continue to be heard.”
One ex-tenant, Warren Griffiths, said he was told to sign a termination agreement following a May 15 fire that displaced about 70 people, but he hasn’t been able to retrieve his belongings from his 10th floor suite.
“I got renovicted,” he said. “They changed the locks on my door after putting a document in front of me and saying, ‘Sign here.'”
Two-year resident Nicola Peffers said she’s spoken to many tenants in the building who are on disability, and stories of ‘renovictions’ abound.
“The owners aren’t in Victoria, and I’m really against this idea of pushing people out to attract higher-paying tenants,” Peffers said.
Building owner Capital Management Ltd. is based in Edmonton, while landlord Westsea Construction Ltd. is based in Vancouver.
Griffiths said he’s now living in a temporary dorm at the Salvation Army Addictions and Rehabilitation Centre in downtown Victoria, and he’s receiving no search support for new affordable housing. The View Towers he lost cost $565 a month, he said, a rent he hasn’t yet been able to find elsewhere in the Capital Region.
A woman who answered the phone number associated to Capital Management Ltd. said the company had no comment and promptly hung up.