GlobalTV went back on Wednesday to see how rentals to police and teachers were going
It's a story that still gets a lot of play by local media – handing over waterfront social housing as rental for police, fire fighters and teachers. The Vancouver Sun newspaper covered it today and GlobalTV ran with the story on Wednesday. Speaking with reporter Ron Bencze I suggested that even if someone's earnings go above the 20% limit set out in the rules, it would be difficult for the City to chase someone out. More likely the City would just change the rules.
Think about the dispute if it were kicked up to the Province. The Residential Tenancy Act determines the rules for renters and landlords. Even if someone were to make too much money to qualify as a tenant, show me the language in the RTA that says you can evict someone. All I know is that the landlord – the City of Vancouver – cannot increase the rents more than 4% per year, and a tenant can challenge an eviction in court.
Look at the social housing that the City built in the 1970s down in South False Creek. There are apparently 3-bedroom townhouses down there renting for less than $400 to this day thanks to the rules set out for tenants. I'm told there are professionals living in those places and paying rent that amounts to the price of dinner for two at Cactus Club.
It's no wonder people think that the whole social housing component should be put up for sale immediately, generating the profits to get the City out of debt, and bringing in dollars to pay for more social housing away from the water.
While I think that aiding the creation of rental housing sounds like a good idea, it's a puzzle that the market units built by the City are so slow to be occupied. Perhaps they need to promote them on Craigslist like everyone else? When I rent the suite in my house, people are lined up out the door. But the units at the Athlete's Village and One Kingsway (which are still available after six months) are slow to move.
Michael Geller should weigh in on this. Michael, if you get my Bat Signal in Shanghai, please post your thoughts.
- post by Mike