The West End Community Plan was adopted in November 2013, five years ago.
It set off a gold rush for developers, enabling them to build towers up twenty, thirty, forty and more than fifty storeys along the main corridors of the West End – Robson, Alberni, Thurlow, and Davie.
During Community Plan consultation, the City and elected officials told West Enders that increased density will “deepen” housing affordability. Among the planning objectives, “livability” and “neighbourliness” also featured prominently. Despite that, there have been many demovictions and renovictions. As far as we know, the City is not keeping score, but the count of renters displaced could already be in the high hundreds or more.
Now the tenants of the iconic green and yellow Berkeley Tower (1170 Davie, at foot of Davie near Denman), are appealing to the community for urgent support to help them fight renoviction and displacement by Reliance Properties Ltd. Some of them have lived there forty years. It is a close community of neighbours.
Below is a bit more background and links to their website. The main point is that they are asking people to take immediate action by writing to the City of Vancouver. The “official” deadline for public input is Monday, October 29. Public input will be considered by the Development Permit Board, and a decision will be made in the coming weeks or months.
1. Oppose this application by writing a letter to the project facilitator at the City of Vancouver.
2. Share this information with others and encourage action. The more people who oppose, the stronger the chance the application will not be approved.
Writing an email is easy and can take as little as five minutes. All the steps and talking points are laid out here:
More info (including links to media coverage):
The iconic green and yellow Berkeley Tower at the corner of Davie and Denman was the first residential High Rise constructed in Vancouver’s West End. Completed in 1958, it is home to a diverse community of long term-tenants – some have lived there for up to 40 years.
In 2016, the building was purchased by Reliance Properties Ltd. Two years later Reliance is now planning to use renovations to justify evicting every tenant, starting in the spring of 2019. An eviction means a new lease – the only way Reliance can substantially increase rents. The tenants say that this is what the conversation is really about – Reliance needs these evictions to charge more rent, and the renovations are the road they’re choosing to achieve that.
The Berkeley Tower tenants call upon:
- Reliance Properties Ltd. to halt all renovictions at Berkeley Tower and to engage with the tenants to determine if the renovations can be done without evicting.
- The City of Vancouver to withhold permits from Reliance until they explore whether or not evictions are necessary.
- The City of Vancouver to withhold permits from Reliance to complete those renovations that would reduce or eliminate existing units.
- The citizens of Vancouver to hold your municipal government accountable. Call or write the City and tell them that you’ve had enough of the City’s inaction against renovictions. Tell them that you expect them to prevent renovictions wherever they can, starting with Berkeley Tower. Want to know how? Click HERE.
At another level, the Provincial government needs to be called upon to look at better ways to protect renters,