Displacement Concerns Grow Along With Residential Developments in Vancouver

In its efforts to build a more environmentally sustainable region by prioritizing transit and transit-oriented development, cities in the Vancouver region also create displacement risks for people who already use and depend on transit.

April 13, 2021, 8:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


Josef Hanus / Shutterstock

Christopher Cheung reports on the tradeoffs included in the Vancouver region's ongoing development of new housing along transit routes: the demolition and replacement of old rental buildings "home to vulnerable communities who depend on transit for work."

The question pondered in the article: Do trains really need to cause pain for renters?

According to Cheung, some of the municipalities in the region have responded to the threat of displacement by updating policies to help renters, with "a mix of everything from requiring landlords to offer cash compensation to offering renters a unit in the redeveloped building."

Advocates, however, are pushing for more, suggesting that the province of British Columbia should tweak its Residential Tenancy Act. One potential change that could alleviate the threat of displacement, according to the article would be "to require landlords to allow tenants to return to a comparable unit in the redeveloped building, at the same or similar rent they were paying before," writes Cheung.

More data on the housing market of the region, and the existing demographics of housing along transit routes, are included in the article. The article chooses the city of Burnaby as its primary case study, with the experience of one renter in particular providing a human-interest angle for the story.

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