This Saturday, Burnaby tenants will take their fight for housing to the streets of Metrotown. The rally is taking place on unceded and occupied Musqueam, Squamish & Tsleil-Waututh Territories.
Tenants led by the Dow Avenue Tenant Group with the support of the Eviction Defence Network will march to expose Mayor Hurley’s Tenant Assistance Policy (TAP) for what it is: a softer version of the same demoviction policies that took place under Derrick Corrigan.
What: Tenants rally against the failure of Burnaby’s Tenant Assistant Policy
Where: Corner of Dow Avenue & Beresford Street, Burnaby
When: Saturday, May 15th at 2:00PM
Mayor Mike Hurley was elected in 2018 promising to end the demoviction crisis in Metrotown. Yet for low-income tenants, there has been little change as the City continues to demolish the largest stock of affordable rental housing in Burnaby, leaving large numbers of tenants with nowhere to go.
Hurley promised that his Tenant Assistance Policy would address this problem by requiring developers to relocate tenants during construction and then offer them a unit in the new building at the same rent. However, the situation on the ground shows this not to be the case.
Surveys conducted by the Dow Avenue Tenants Group in Metrotown, show that 20% of respondents are not covered under TAP, either because of when they moved in or because they are not listed as the primary tenant on the lease. Of tenants surveyed, ⅔ had not been informed by either the City or the landlord that they were eligible for compensation or relocation as part of the TAP.
As well, many tenants report being pressured to leave before the rezoning process is concluded, making it harder for them to ever return or access any of the guarantees of the TAP. What’s more, the TAP fails to address the forces driving displacement; the City approved destruction of low-end of market rental units, the ongoing gentrification of Metrotown by developers, and the power of landlords over tenants’ lives.
Metrotown tenants are demanding that the City extend the TAP to all building residents, freeze all rezonings and stop the destruction of low-end of market housing until it can be replaced with universal housing outside of the market.