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Burnaby pursues historic expansion of tenants' rights

The City of Burnaby is pursuing one of the most progressive tenant assistance policies in the country, after revisions to the City’s existing policy were approved in principle by City Council on Monday.

“Our updated Tenant Assistance Policy will make life more affordable for Burnaby residents, even as our city continues to grow,” said Mayor Mike Hurley. “Burnaby is a diverse city and this will keep our communities that way. This policy delivers on a key recommendation from the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing.”

The revised Tenant Assistance Policy provides new standards for tenants of purpose-built rental buildings of five units or more that require rezoning as a result of redevelopment or renovation process. The policy expands on protections offered to all B.C. tenants through the Residential Tenancy Act to ensure that Burnaby renters can continue to live in their communities.

The revised Tenant Assistance Policy would require applicants seeking rezoning to support tenants by:

  • Assisting them in finding a new place to rent, if requested; 
  • Providing rental top-up payments, if necessary, to help bridge the gap to a similar rental; 
  • Assisting with moving;
  • Offering them the right to return to the new development at the same rent (plus any Residential Tenancy Act increases) to a suite with the same number of bedrooms.

The City of Burnaby will engage housing stakeholders in the coming weeks to receive input on the policy, building on the robust Mayor’s Task Force engagement that was the largest in the city’s history. Once the consultation period is complete, the policy will return to City Council for adoption.

As Metro Vancouver grapples with an ongoing housing crisis, the City of Burnaby continues to deliver on the recommendations of the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing. During the Task Force process residents and stakeholders strongly advocated for a more robust tenant relocation policy. The revised Tenant Assistance Policy delivers that very framework.

The revised policy applies to all new rezonings as well as all rezonings currently in stream at City Hall.

Renters’ rights and rental housing stock in Burnaby now have some of the strongest protections in the country. Earlier this year, City Council approved a Rental Use Zoning Framework that not only protects existing rental stock but will actually enhance it. The policy created rental-only zones across the city, requires a minimum of 20% rental housing in all new developments and protects existing rental stock by requiring 1:1 replacement of all units lost in all community plan areas. 

Staff Report: Revised Tenant Assistance Policy

For more information contact:
Ed Kozak
Director of Planning
Planning & Building Department
604-294-7249 |

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