SAVE BERKELEY TOWER: 3-MINUTE LETTER-WRITING GUIDE
HOMES BEFORE PROFIT: STOP RENO-VICTIONS AT 1770 DAVIE STREET
Reliance Properties Ltd. is threatening to use renovations to evict every tenant of Berkeley Tower in order to raise rents - for more in depth information click here. In their proposal, 52 luxury units will replace 58 affordable units. This is exactly the kind of action that caused Vancouver’s housing crisis.
The City of Vancouver can stop this from happening by restricting or withholding development permits.
Please take 3 minutes to write an email to ask the City of Vancouver to intervene:
1. OPEN EMAIL ACCOUNT
2. CUT AND PASTE THE FOLLOWING ADDRESSES INTO THE "TO" BOX:
The first address is to John Freeman, the project facilitator.
The second address is to an email used by the tenants of 1770 Davie street so we can collect the letters on our end as well. We’ll then use the submissions to pressure Vancouver’s new city council to intervene directly.
3. BODY OF EMAIL – keep it short and simple – it’s important this be in your words and, obviously, the more thought you can put into this letter the better, but we also don’t want to take too much of your time:
Dear Mr. Freeman,
I live at (address). I am writing you regarding the development application for 1770 Davie Street.
Insert one or two of the following points IN YOUR OWN WORDS - don't overthink it but please don't cut and paste - your voice is important:
We know that developers need to be able to upgrade and repair their properties. They can do that without needing to evict though. Allow the repairs, but make them conditional on the leases remaining intact.
This application will destroy 58 affordable housing units and replace them with 52 unaffordable, likely luxury units. If the City cares about affordability, it will say ‘no’ to this permit application, so long as the application results in evictions.
Though this application is considered to be "minor" under the existing zoning, the socially complex and contentious nature of this application merits an upgrade to "major" as laid out in the Glossary of Terms: Brief Explanation of Zoning and Development Permits in Vancouver on the City of Vancouver's website.
The applicant's proposed commercial infill is lacking and does not provide pedestrian interest. They are proposing one big frontage of glass which is generic and does not take into consideration the character of the neighbourhood, which is known for its unique mid-century architecture.
No one is trying to stop the developer from renovating - they have the right to renovate - what they don't have the right to do is evict tenants who have said they would accommodate the renovation. Withhold permits until the developer agrees to explore with the tenants of Berkeley Tower the necessity of evictions.
For a city to be truly word class it must have diversity in it's people. Increasingly high prices are driving out diversity and true communities. It's time for the City to decide if it wants Vancouver to be world class or a homogenous, vacant resort town.
The city talks about "building new rentals" as a solution to the affordability crisis. This is only part of the issue. What the city must do, if it really cares about addressing the housing crisis, is protect existing affordable rentals such as Berkeley Tower.
We elected this government on a platform of addressing affordability in Vancouver. This application is to reduce the number of units, replacing affordable units with luxury units, while making many Vancouver citizens homeless. This is unacceptable.
TELL US WHY YOU OBJECT TO RENOVICTIONS IN YOUR OWN WORDS – PLEASE GET MAD!
4. SIGN OFF:
Through your actions on this project you will send a clear message about whether or not you understand the needs of renters in Vancouver. Please keep me informed of future developments on this project.
“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”