The iconic green and yellow Berkeley Tower at the corner of Davie and Denman was the first residential High Rise constructed in Vancouver's West End. Completed in 1958, it is home to a diverse community of long term-tenants - some of us have been here for up to 40 years.
In 2016, the building was purchased by Reliance Properties Ltd. Just two years have passed and Reliance is now promising to use renovations to justify evicting every tenant, starting in the spring of 2019. An eviction means a new lease – the only way Reliance can substantially increase rents. This is what the conversation is really about – Reliance needs these evictions to charge more rent, and the renovations are the road they’re choosing to achieve that.
The Supreme Court of British Columbia has ruled that renovations cannot be used to justify evictions if tenants are prepared to vacate their homes during the renovations. We have offered to move out temporarily so the renovations can be done. Reliance has refused to explore this option. Jon Stovell, the president of Reliance, called the proposal "impractical" and has publicly said that the evictions and new leases are necessary to make the building profitable.
We reject the notion that our community, or any community, should be displaced and destroyed simply to line the pockets of a rich developer.
We call upon:
Reliance Properties Ltd. to halt all renovictions at Berkeley Tower and to engage with the tenants to determine if the renovations can be done without evicting.
The City of Vancouver to withhold permits from Reliance until they explore whether or not evictions are necessary.
The City of Vancouver to withhold permits from Reliance to complete those renovations that would reduce or eliminate existing units.
The citizens of Vancouver to hold your municipal government accountable. Call or write the City and tell them that you’ve had enough of the City’s inaction against renovictions. Tell them that you expect them to prevent renovictions wherever they can, starting with Berkeley Tower. Want to know how? Click HERE.