Re: “Victoria apartment-block reno forces dozens to find new places,” Jan. 25.
Balancing the right of building owners to make money with the need for legal and ethical treatment of residents is made more difficult by Victoria’s current rental climate. No renter chooses to compete with others at an almost zero vacancy rate, but compete we must.
Responding to renovictions with Band-Aid solutions of moving assistance or first right of refusal on unaffordable units does nothing to solve the housing and affordability problems in our region.
Relocating residents into alternative options also does not recognize the dissolution of communities or stress caused for vulnerable residents involuntarily adapting to a new home. Consideration of the human element to this growing problem is required in response.
This is a game of Rental Tetris. Except the pieces fall so quickly no one can react creatively enough to make them fit. A new approach is needed.
Enacting co-ordinated, humane and protective legislation in order to sustain a community with a diverse population is the only solution. The provincial government and the Capital Regional District must act to ensure subsidies, grandfathered protection of current rental rates with minimal staggered increases and commitment to sustainable community development are required.
Vancouver devised a solution to renovictions and demovictions — the Vancouver Tenant Relocation and Protection Guidelines. The same can be done here. Anything short of long-term strategy and policy development in response to this crisis will leave Victoria struggling indefinitely.
Which renoviction is the one that leads to action? I hope it’s this one.