Renters participating in a Renters at Risk rally for the “right of first refusal” chanted “Gordon Nelson: Shame on You” on Saturday, October 25 outside of 1209 Jervis Street, a West End building that Gordon Nelson Investments Inc. issued eviction notices to last winter.
Contrary to popular belief, Hollyburn Properties, a property management company known for using renovations to mass evict tenants and raise rents, isn’t the only company in the neighbourhood using this business tactic!
The news was not only startling to onlookers, but also to Seafield Apartment Residents – whose building was purchased in July by Gordon Nelson Investments Inc.
- Youtube: Renters at Risk Rally for Right of First Refusal
- Youtube: B.C. Politicians Speak Outside of Gordon Nelson Investments’ Property
- CTV – Renters Fight Evictions with High Powered Allies
- They Tyee Blog: Renters Rally for Right of Refusal After Renovations
- Xtra: West End Rallies for Renters’ Rights
The rally gave a voice to renters who are concerned about the lack of tenant protection in the Residential Tenancy Act. Evictions for renovations, voluntary rent increases, geographic market increases and fixed-term leases are all loopholes employed by corporate landlords to get around current rent control legislation (3.7 percent increase/year).
At the rally, members of Renters at Risk asked politicians to make changes to the Tenancy legislation to protect renters, including the enactment of the Right of First Refusal.
Politicians at both the municipal and provincial level were invited to speak in front of 1209 Jervis St. to announce what they would do to protect renters and close the loopholes in the existing Residential Tenancy Act.
This loophole and affordable housing has become a major issue in the upcoming provincial by-election, with the maintenance of diverse, healthy neighbourhoods becoming key in the municipal election.
Politicians who were in attendance included:
• Tim Stevenson – Municipal Vision Candidate
• Arthur Griffiths – BC Liberal (Vancouver-Burrard by-election) Candidate
• Spencer Herbert – BC NDP (Vancouver-Burrard by-election) Candidate
• Drina Read – Provincial Green Party (Vancouver-Burrard by-election) Candidate