Langley City councillor Nathan Pachal wants to avoid Burnaby-style “demovictions,” where older rental properties are demolished and the tenants can’t afford the expensive new housing built in their place.
“I don’t think anyone wants to go down that path” Pachal said.
Pachal and councillors from three other Lower Mainland communities will be discussing alternatives, options for revitalizing old apartment buildings that respect current tenants and maintain affordability, at a public meeting next Tuesday, Feb. 28 at the Douglas Recreation Centre in Langley at 20550 Douglas Crescent.
The Langley event is the second in the Metro Conversations series of one-hour meet-up discussions Pachal is organizing with Kiersten Duncan from the City of Maple Ridge, Mathew Bond from the District of North Vancouver and Patrick Johnstone of New Westminster (the first one was held in New West, on the issue of short term rentals).
“In our community we have a lot of older rental stock and it’s coming to the point of needing to be renewed,” Pachal said.
“Now we want to do that in a way that’s respectful. And we need to have that conversation and figure out how we do that. Because the worst-case scenario would be Burnaby, and I don’t think anyone wants to see that.”
Pachal noted in MetroTown, protestors have been demonstrating against the demolition of older rental buildings, and the displacement of residents.
“So it’s that conversation about “demoviction” and I don’t think we want to have that conversation here,” Pachal said.
Pachal said Metro Conversations is an attempt by the four councillors to focus attention on issues that are outside the “Vancouver bubble.”
It was inspired by the City Conversations at Simon Fraser University’s Vancouver campus, an event Pachal says is a good idea but “very Vancouver-focused with Vancouver people.”
Panelists at the Langley event will include Marilyn Fischer, chair of Triple A Senior Housing, David Hutniak, CEO of LandlordBC and Penny Gurstein, director of the School of Community and Regional Planning and Centre for Human Settlements at UBC.
Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the discussion starts at 7 p.m.