(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

Rock the Rink gives youth once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Winning band will get to play a set at Rock the Shores

Esquimalt council green-lights first mass-timber building on Vancouver Island

Mayor appreciates 12-storey structure’s proximity to naval base, graving dock and Seaspan

Greater Victoria School District adopts new dress code policy

Two years in the making, SD61 moves to more inclusionary guidelines

Fiery crash in Metchosin

Police still investigating the cause of the crash

Sooke makes call for regional fire dispatch

Some municipalities decide to take service off-Island

Parents call for change to health laws after Oak Bay teen’s death

Accidental overdose has Elliot Eurchuk’s parents seeking change to B.C Infants Act

Amalgamation Yes hosting citizen’s assembly info meeting Wednesday at Vic High

Mayors of Victoria and Saanich will be on hand to give updates to residents

Doctor sees healing power in psychedelic plant as Peru investigates death of B.C. man

Peru’s attorney general has ordered the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 41-year-old Sebastian Woodroffe

Toronto police officer ‘gave himself the space and time’ in van attack

Footage shows officer standing up, turning off his siren and talking clearly to the suspect

$1.18 to $1.58 a litre: Are you paying the most for gas in B.C.?

Gas prices across B.C. vary, with lowest in Vernon and highest in – you guessed it – Metro Vancouver

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of April 24

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

Inquest set 10 years after B.C. woman shot, left to die

Lisa Dudley, and her partner, Guthrie McKay were shot in their Mission home in September 2008

B.C. hockey team to retire Humboldt Bronco victim’s number

BCHL’s Surrey Eagles to retire Jaxon Joseph’s No. 10 in light of bus tragedy

B.C. Hells Angels invited to rally by anti-SOGI organizer

The Culture Guard group has helped Hells Angels in the past, said its executive director.

Most Read