Victoria housing advocates push for temporary moratorium on demolition of affordable rental units

Housing advocates and tenants are teaming up to prevent demolition of affordable rental buildings in Victoria, as well as increase protections for renters facing displacement.

Together Against Poverty's Emily Roger's says the vacancy rate for rentals in the Greater Victoria area is .5%. But with property values up developers are looking at tearing down older apartment complexes to build newer, pricier ones.

All of this stems from the proposed demolition of the Beacon Arms apartment in the 500-block Quadra which would see 32 affordable units gone from an already tight rental market. 

Roger's says while some argue the newer projects will add more units down the road, those newer units will also be unaffordable to those being displaced:

" We can't conflate rental stock with affordability. We know that the market cannot correct this crisis alone and that we need to ensure affordability is retained in our community through intentional policies." 

Rogers says no one is calling for a moratorium on demolition to ask forever but argues:

" It's a step that needs to be taken now while we assess the housing crisis. She says as soon as there is a suite of policies in place to protect  renters and to protect the housing stock in our community, we can re-look at refurbishing and replacing the existing stock."

TAPS has organized a rally at Victoria City Hall Thursday at 6:00 pm, right before council discusses whether to introduce a temporary moratorium on rental apartment demolitions.


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