Our community needs your support for secure purpose-built rental housing

Mayor Kennedy Stewart and Council will be considering a rezoning application at a public hearing to be held Tuesday May 14th, 2019 at 6pm at Vancouver City Hall.  The decision taken at this hearing will have far-reaching consequences for all future redevelopment of aging rental stock and the construction of desperately needed new secure rental housing in the City of Vancouver.  Your voice in support of this rezoning application is essential.  Please write the Mayor and Council using the template below.  Your letters should arrive in the clerks office by 4pm Monday May 13th, 2019. See the staff report in the link below.



Mayor Stewart and Council
City of Vancouver

Sent via email: [email protected]

Subject:  Rezoning Application – 8636 – 8656 Oak Street

Dear Mayor Stewart and Council,

I am writing to support the approval of the rezoning application for the re-development of  8638 – 8656 Oak Street to accommodate a total of 91 new units of purpose-built rental housing. Purpose-built rental housing is the most secure form of long-term rental housing available.

While appreciative of the initiatives and efforts the City of Vancouver has undertaken to help address the rental housing supply crisis, our community needs Mayor and Council to demonstrate vision and leadership by virtue of the approval of this rezoning application.

This project is being considered under the Marpole Community Plan and will see the replacement of two existing structures past their functional life, with two new structures to generate a net increase of 48 new rental homes.  Furthermore, there will be an increase in the number of family units at this existing site from the current 3 to 33!  We applaud the applicant for recognizing and responding to the need for family units in our community.

It is noteworthy that the applicant will be offering these 91 homes at starting rents that will be secured below the maximum rents in the City’s DCL By-law.  The units themselves will be secured for rental for 60 years or the life of the building, whichever is greater. The proposed rents are comparable to or slightly below, in some unit types, the average rents in newer buildings in the west area of Vancouver. The average rents are significantly below the monthly costs associated with purchasing a comparable strata unit.

The applicant has demonstrated a sincere desire to ensure that existing tenants are treated fairly and with respect.  The applicant has hired a tenant relocation consultant to assist existing tenants through future relocations and is in the process of assessing the level of vulnerability and any special circumstances that may require additional assistance.  Furthermore, the applicant has also committed to increasing the right of first refusal discount rate from 20% to 30% for returning tenants.

Purpose-built rental housing is challenging to build at the best of times and, collectively, we must do everything we can to encourage new construction and not place unnecessary barriers. I strongly support the approval of this rezoning and encourage Mayor and Council to do the same.


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