Most people driven from the North Shore lose their homes as well as entire support structure.
By Kerry Morris
The redevelopment of our rental home community is driving long-time residents away from the North Shore and destroying family support systems. When a single-family mom or dad, or a retired grandmother or grandfather living off savings or a fixed income pension, loses their rental apartment to a redevelopment project, those displaced are most often driven out of North Vancouver entirely, to communities like Maple Ridge, Abbottsford and Chilliwack.
Why? Because this is how far afield they must go in order to find a rental property at similar rates to those they were driven from.
Re-development cannot be stopped. It is a legal right of a property owner. But when those owners seek to exceed zoning and OCP limits with consent of the municipality, we should be taking steps to preserve the ability for displaced renters to remain in our community before we concern ourselves with municipal windfalls and developer needs.
Elected officials and staff who preside over these proposals should ensure that residents interests are considered above all else. The current outcome is that most people driven from the North Shore by redevelopment not only lose their homes, they lose their entire support structure as well. A single mother cannot effectively commute great distance for a minimum income job, or for doctor services, or for children to continue at their previous schools. In the end they lose their homes, their support networks, their schools, their friends and their jobs. It is our job as a community to design solutions to these challenges that will preserve the ability for those people affected by redevelopment to remain on the North Shore and continue with their historical relationships, their lives.
This community obligation supersedes any consideration to be given to either a developer or a potential resident. And we should be adjusting our municipal priorities accordingly. There are reasonable and achievable solutions to these problems. We need only show the will and then we will find the way.