Public meeting - Organizing for tenant protections

Public meeting - Organizing for tenant protections

Our next public meeting is coming up on Tuesday, and it will largely focus on one major theme — transit-oriented development. Following up on last month's meeting, we've been looking at how we can engage renters in the community on this policy from the provincial government and the potential it has to displace renters in this market.

If you need a primer, or if you missed the last meeting: Very briefly, transit-oriented development is the general name for legislation introduced late last year by the BC NDP. It allows buildings within 800 metres of SkyTrain stations and major bus exchanges to be built much taller than what most cities have previously allowed. This means many older, smaller buildings in New West can now be rebuilt to have many more housing units, but likely far more expensive and with no guarantee it would include rentals.

Our concern is that renters living in affordable units in these older buildings may lose their homes and not be able to find another place within their budgets to live. In case you're wondering how much of New West is covered by those areas, here's a map:

A map shows New Westminster, southeast Burnaby, northwest Surrey and a sliver of southwest Coquitlam. On the map are red circles, with smaller yellow and green circles inside of them at each transit station. The red circles cover a large area of New Westminster, especially around Sapperton, Downtown and the West End/Connaught Heights.
Red circles are 800m from SkyTrain stations, yellow circles are 400m and green circles are 200m. New legislation allows development of up to 20 storeys in the green circles, up to 12 storeys in the yellow circles and up to eight storeys in the red circles.

In Tuesday's meeting, we'll go over our plan for outreach to potentially at-risk buildings and strategies for door-knocking and leafleting as we begin this campaign, and talk about how you can get involved to push for more tenant protections against displacement.

As usual, the meeting will be in the basement of the New West Public Library on Tuesday, March 26th at 6:30pm.

See you there!

While we've got you, we're always on the lookout for Building Contacts who can support the New West Tenants Union's work by keeping us posted of issues at rental buildings around the city.

Learn more about Building Contacts and what your role could be in organizing for stronger tenants' rights in your building here.