Media Release: Yes, Vancouver, You can fight City Hall! Community group’s legal action forces City Hall to change Rental 100

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEWEN logo Raster RGB

Yes, Vancouver, You can fight City Hall! Community group’s legal action forces City Hall to change Rental 100

(Vancouver, December 4, 2013) West End Neighbours (WEN) is delighted that its Judicial Review Petition filed in the B.C. Supreme Court Registry on September 19, 2013 has resulted in the City of Vancouver amending the Development Cost Levy bylaws with respect to DCL waivers for “for profit affordable rental housing.”

Despite Vision Vancouver suggesting these changes are “improvements” to an existing system, the changes would never have been achieved without the efforts of a concerned group of West End residents who raised money, hired a lawyer, and commenced legal proceedings to challenge the bylaws. WEN’s Petition has resulted in the City stripping the City Manager of her power to determine what constitutes affordable rental housing, and has forced the City to finally set firm criteria for what it considers “affordable.”

WEN Director, Virginia Richards said, “WEN is pleased that City Hall has taken our Petition seriously and made changes to the bylaws to be more transparent regarding Rental 100 incentives and maximum rental rates. That being said, we do not think the amendments go far enough to address one of our main concerns: That the City is waiving development cost levies to create high-end market-rate rentals, not “affordable” rental housing.

WEN is not the only one to voice these concerns. During yesterday’s debate even Vision Vancouver Councillors, including Raymond Louie, worried that the City is not creating truly affordable housing.

In response to the amendments, Virginia Richards said: “What planet are members of Council living on if they consider $1,443 a month for a 450-square-foot studio anywhere in the City of Vancouver — including the Downtown Eastside — to be ‘affordable rental housing’? It’s preposterous.”

WEN will be continuing with its Court action against the City of Vancouver, after amending its Petition for Judicial Review to reflect the City’s recent amendments.

Please visit the West End Neighbours’ website for more information.

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West End Neighbours, a non-profit society registered under the BC Society Act, is a coalition of volunteers who recognise the unique character of their community and strive to maintain the core assets and relationships within the neighbourhood.

Contact:  info@westendneighbours.ca, http://www.WestEndNeighbours.ca

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