New Westminster —On Monday, January 14th, New Westminster City Council endorsed a new Rental Housing Revitalization Initiative, which builds on and expands its Renovictions Action Plan. With this initiative, the City is responding to the need for affordable housing, the risk of renovictions, and the maintenance and protection of existing purpose-built rental buildings in New Westminster.
“Our city is experiencing a housing crisis, making it difficult for many in our community to find affordable rental housing,” said Mayor Jonathan X. Coté. “This initiative is a huge step forward in maintaining and increasing rental housing in the city, as well as helping minimize the issue of renovictions that displace existing tenants.”
The Rental Housing Revitalization Initiative includes several components: a Rental Replacement Policy to slow the redevelopment of older purpose-built market rental buildings; a Rental Revitalization Tax Exemption to incentivize the maintenance and protection of existing rental buildings; and strong new business licensing requirements to prohibit renovictions. If approved, the City will have the first municipal bylaws in the province that impose restrictions and fines for renoviction.
Consultation with stakeholders on the Draft Rental Replacement Policy and the incentive components of the Rental Housing Revitalization Program will be conducted together with consultations for the Draft Inclusionary Housing Policy. On January 28, 2019, there will be a Public Hearing on Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 8078, 2019 to preserve the rental tenure of several existing rental buildings and properties, in perpetuity. On February 4, 2019, there will be an Opportunity to be Heard on proposed amendments to Business Regulations and Licensing (Rental Units) Bylaw No. 6926, 2004, to add new business licensing restrictions against renovictions.