These are anxious times for many renters in Victoria’s James Bay neighbourhood.
They worry they’ll be forced out of apartments that some have called home for decades because of so-called `renovictions’.
Tonight, 70 or so of them packed a meeting at the New Horizons Community Center to voice their concerns, many of them seniors on fixed incomes.
They are worried about losing their homes to a practice that sees landlords evict tenants to carry out renovations and then jack up rents once they’re done.
“There’s no place to go and I think people are looking at the homeless in the province on the courthouse lawn and saying we’re one step away,” said James Bay resident Victoria Adams.
“We may not be able to pay the rents that are being asked of us and yet we have nowhere to move.”
Opposition housing critic David Eby and NDP MLA Carole James were on hand to take their questions.
“We are going to introduce changes to the Residential Tenancy Act at the provincial level so these kinds of things can’t keep happening,” says James.
“so that tenants have some protection, so that landlords have to justify the renovations, so they can’t just come in and put a coat of paint on and increase the rent.”
Some 600 tenants living in six James Bay apartment buildings now owned by the same Ontario-based company are particularly worried.
One of them tonight said he came to the meeting because he’s getting no information about what the plans are for his building.
He says he and many of his neighbours are increasingly concerned about what lies ahead.