(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

Esquimalt speed skating week helps province determine find fastest skater

Speed Week takes place on Dec. 17 at Archie Browning arena

Longtime Saanich drama group brings pirates onstage for traditional Christmas pantomime

St. Luke’s Players present Treasure Island Dec. 18 to Jan. 4

Goldstream church offers free festive feast

Gordon United Church says all are welcome to attend Monday’s meal

Sex workers march in downtown Victoria for Red Umbrella Day

Red umbrellas became a symbol of sex workers after an art installation in Italy

MLA Adam Olsen calls for ‘substantial’ changes in provincial economy

Green Party MLA also criticizes gap between government rhetoric and actions

VIDEO: Success of wildlife corridors in Banff National Park has advocates wanting more

Demand for more highway protection escalated after seven elk were killed by a semi-trailer near Canmore

B.C. VIEWS: Hunger does not end with the season

Despite innovations in food distribution, the need is still there in B.C. communities

Sharks beat Canucks 4-2 to snap 6-game skid

Vancouver visits Vegas on Sunday

Fans sing Canadian anthem after sound system breaks at BMW IBSF World Cup

The Canadians in attendance made sure their team and flag were honoured on the podium

VIDEO: Fire destroys Big White Ski Resort chalet

Social media eulogies peg the property, nicknamed “The Pharamacy,” as both loved and hated

Prince George RCMP use bait packages to catch porch pirates over the holidays

First-in-Canada program with Amazon looks to combat parcel theft

Nanaimo mechanical engineer creates thief tracking program

Nanaimo Thief Tracking lets users plot and share information about thefts online

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Most Read