Stop the Reliance Properties Renovictions

Dear Mr. Stovell,

I am calling on you to keep your commitment to the renters you demovicted from 1170 Bidwell Street and let them return to their community under the original spirit of the agreement.

The way you have pressured tenants into huge rent increases is disappointing and reflects poorly on you and your company. As things stand right now, I would absolutely not want to see Reliance Properties come into my neighbourhood or community and do this to other families.

You should do better.

cc:
Selina Robinson, Minister of Housing and Municipal Affairs
Kennedy Stewart, Mayor of Vancouver

1,221

of a 1,000 signature goal

Will you sign?

We need urgent action to stop a multi-million-dollar real estate developer from forcing three families out of their homes.

In 2016 Reliance Properties applied for a redevelopment permit of a three-story, 10 unit apartment building at 1170 Bidwell street. To convince City Hall to issue the permits they entered into an agreement with the existing tenants and the City of Vancouver promising to rehouse them during construction, and the right to move into the new building at the same baseline rent.[1]

After it got the permits, Reliance came back and told tenants they would ultimately have to pay thousands more each year to move into the new building at 1188 Bidwell. Several tenants, including BCGEU member Kian Gray, refused to agree to Reliance’s rent hikes -- and now they could be at risk of eviction. [2]

Reliance has just come back to us with an offer, but it is still not in line with the spirit of the agreement we signed -- and the agreement that got them permits in the first place. Wealthy development companies should not be allowed to bully tenants into massive rent hikes.

A flood of public pressure could make Reliance think twice about forcing tenants from their homes. Reliance has built its brand on caring about “long term tenant relationships”, and the last thing they want is a massive public campaign accusing them of breaking their promise to tenants.

But with the threat of eviction looming, we need to act fast. Will you sign the petition urging Reliance to help get reliance come to the table and negotiate instead of threatening tenants with eviction?

This fight is bigger than just the families from 1170 Bidwell. If Reliance Properties is allowed to go back on their agreement with these tenants, there will be nothing from stopping other developers from saying one thing and then doing another.

But that’s where we come in. If enough of us sign the petition, we can pressure Reliance to honour the spirit of the agreement with tenants. Please sign the petition today and share it widely.

Jon Stovell, the President of Reliance Properties has taken to the media to complain about Reliance's tenants of 20 years, claiming that an $1100 rent increase is the "the best relocation offer anyone in the city has had". [3] This is out of touch with the reality of renting in British Columbia and doesn't fairly represent the City of Vancouver's Tenant Relocation Policy. [4]

If Reliance Properties is allowed to go back on their agreement with these tenants, there will be nothing from stopping other developers from saying one thing and then doing another. They have given the tenants until the end of February before filing for eviction so we need to urgently stand together and support them in their fight against one of the wealthiest and most powerful developers in British Columbia. [5]

Sign the petition to show Reliance Properties and Vancouver City Council that this is unacceptable and must not be allowed.

With your support we can make sure that we win this fight, and show developers they can't strong-arm tenants, and run roughshod over our communities.

Sources:

[1] West End renter accuses developer of dirty tricks over relocation agreement (CBC)
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/west-end-renter-accuses-developer-of-dirty-tricks-over-relocation-agreement-1.5418037

[2] Vancouver couple battles with landlord over rent increase (Global News)
https://globalnews.ca/video/6392009/vancouver-couple-battles-with-landlord-over-rent-increase

[3] Vancouver landlord, tenants disagree on terms of relocation provision in unusual rental arrangement (Globe and Mail)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/british-columbia/article-vancouver-landlord-tenants-disagree-on-terms-of-relocation-provision/

[4] Tenant Relocation and Protection Guidelines (City of Vancouver)
https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/tenant-relocation-and-protection-guidelines.pdf