Tenant Relocation Policy
One of the ways the City aims to maintain a mix of housing choices that are appropriate and affordable for residents at various stages of their lives is to encourage an increase in the supply of purpose-built rental housing. Housing that is permanently rental in tenure offers residents the benefit of knowing their home will not be sold to a new owner who may choose to live there, forcing the renter to find new accommodation.
The City’s Official Community Plan, originally adopted in October 2017 and recently reviewed and revised in 2021, requires that when an existing rental building is redeveloped, that at a minimum each rental unit must be replaced in the new building (Policy 11.2.1.f). In areas on either side of the Town Centre area (the ‘Town Centre Transition’ area), the City incentivizes the creation of additional affordable rental housing supply by allowing proponents to build 67% more floor area (2.5 FAR, or gross floor area, and six storeys in height instead of 1.5 FAR and four storeys in height) if the development includes an affordable rental housing component, and up to 2.8 FAR (and six storeys) where the developer is replacing existing purpose built rental housing and compensating tenants in accordance with the City's Tenant Relocation Policy.
Tenants in buildings that are proposed for redevelopment are supported through the City’s new Tenant Relocation Policy, adopted in June 2018 and substantially revised in October 2020, which obliges developers to provide enhanced communication and financial assistance to existing tenants beyond the minimum requirements of the Residential Tenancy Act, and also give existing tenants the first option to move back into the new building at reduced rates.
There are several projects in process adding to the City’s rental housing supply. These include:
- 80 apartment units in a six-storey rezoning proposal at 1485 Fir Street, including 25 replacement units for the existing rental stock on site. This proposal has conditional approval (Third Reading of Zoning Amendment Bylaw) and is pending final approval.
- 25 apartment units (out of a total of 88 units) in a six-storey building at 15654 North Bluff Road. These units would be rent-controlled via a Housing Agreement; the remained of the 88 units in this project include 49 condo units designated for affordable homeownership (through a BC Housing program) and 14 family sized townhouse units (market strata).
- 16 apartment units (out of a total of 126 units) in a 13-storey building currently under construction at Finlay Street and Russell Avenue; and
- 12 apartment units (out of a total of 29 units) in a six-storey building currently under construction at 1456 Johnston Road (the remaining 17 units are rental tenure for a minimum of 10 years).
Other approved projects that provide a specialized form of rental housing to add to the mix of housing choices include:
- 198 independent living units completed at 1575 George Street (PARC Oceana).
- 28 apartment units in a four-storey building completed at 1293 Best Street.