New approach to housing
The Canadian Press - May 28, 2019 - BC Biz

Photo: Contributed

BURNABY — A Metro Vancouver city council has unanimously approved a new approach to rental housing that could make it a leader in protecting and enhancing rental stock.

A statement from the City of Burnaby says council’s approach sets several groundbreaking bylaw changes in motion.

These include allowing displaced or evicted renters to move into a new building at the same rent as their previous suite, and compelling builders to include a minimum of 20 per cent rental housing in all new developments.

Bylaw changes would also require replacement of every suite demolished in Burnaby’s four town centres with a similar unit in the same area.

Those and other plans, including creation of rental-only zones and allowing rental housing in commercial zones, must still be considered at public hearings.

Burnaby says the approach capitalizes on the B.C. government’s enactment last May of legislation allowing local governments to list rental housing as a specific land use in multi-family residential areas.

Coun. Pietro Calendino, who chairs Burnaby’s Planning and Development Committee, said in the statement that the innovative approach “promotes the creation of new, high-quality, affordable rental.”

“We’ve looked at lessons learned from other cities and see this as the most secure way to protect rental properties in perpetuity,” he said.

A mayor’s task force on community housing is also examining the issue of rental stock and will deliver its final report in July.

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