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Seniors in Solidarity Against 45% Rent Hike

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

by Lauren Gill

Tenants hold up the letter they received from the Mount Pleasant Housing Society
Tenants hold up the letter they received from the Mount Pleasant Housing Society
The usual media scrum
The usual media scrum
Tenant states "The contraction of a non-profit hiking the rents by 45% is comparable to the contradiction of Mohammad Ali joining the KKK..."
Tenant states "The contraction of a non-profit hiking the rents by 45% is comparable to the contradiction of Mohammad Ali joining the KKK..."

Also posted by emily oxford:

Also in Cooperatives:

Vancouver, Coast Salish Territories
Low-income tenants at the Lions Manor, a not-for-profit seniors housing development in Vancouver, are facing a forced 45% rent increase. The increase in rent means that many of the tenants will no longer be able to afford to live there, and with the unaffordability of our city are facing possible homelessness. This morning the tenants in conjunction with the newly formed Vancouver Renters Union, took matters into their own hands, holding a press conference and rally. The tenants, some of them who have been living there for over 15 years, spoke about the impacts that this rent increase would have on their lives. Many spoke of the health costs of being a senior, having to pay for their medication and mobility devices as well as the unexpected health costs that could arise at any moment. The tenants are currently paying around 35-40% of their income towards rent, with the rent increase they will be paying upwards of 50%. Canadian Mortgage and Housing Association standards as well as UN and other rent standards state that people should only be paying between 30-33% towards rent.

This year BC landlords are allowed to raise rents 4.3%. The landlord at Lions Manor, Mount Pleasant Housing Society, who declined my request for an interview, have found a loophole in the residential tenancy act that allows them to request a bulk increase. This loophole applies to buildings in areas that have recent surrounding rent increases, aka buildings that are affected by gentrification. Nathan Compton from the VRU points out that the City of Vancouver should be working to prevent gentrification in the city until this loophole is addressed and abolished, because it affects low-income individuals and seniors. Mount Pleasant Housing Society did not speak with any of the tenants about the rent increase, instead they left a notice under their doors, they also did not submit any evidence to the residents as required by the regulations of the Residential Tenancy Act.

 

Tomorrow at 1pm the tenants will have a conference call hearing with the Residential Tenancy Branch, an unusual method as it is usually done face to face. They, along with advocates will fight to stop the increase, and once they succeed they vow to join others in Vancouvers fight against gentrification and the fight for renters rights! 

 

For more photos from the day see Murray Bush-FLUX PHOTOS

 

Vancouver Renters Union mission statement:

“To organize all Metro Vancouver renters into a union capable of determining housing rights, rents, and security through collective bargaining and political action, including petitioning, picketing, and rent strikes, as well as through conversion of the city’s housing stock to resident-controlled, not-for-profit cooperatives.”
For more information on the Vancouver Renters Union or to get involved e-mail info@vanrentersunion.org

 

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