Burnaby tenants protected by comprehensive Tenant Assistance Policy

Last updated: July 27, 2021

Renters in Burnaby now have some of the strongest protections in the country, thanks to a revised Tenant Assistance Policy approved by City Council. 

“If you’re a renter in Burnaby, it’s important that you feel secure in your housing,” said Mayor Mike Hurley. “Our Tenant Assistance Policy ensures Burnaby families can continue to live in the place they call home even as our communities continue to grow and evolve.”

The revised policy protects tenants in market rental buildings displaced from their homes when a building owner decides to renovate or rebuild under a rezoning application. 

Tenants will receive:

  • Help finding a new place to rent, if requested;
  • Rent top-up payments, if needed, to bridge the gap between rent for the new unit and existing rent level;
  • Help with moving expenses; and
  • The right to return to the new development at the same rent (plus any Residential Tenancy Act rent increases) in a suite with the same number of bedrooms.

Revisions to the Tenant Assistance Policy were approved-in-principle in December 2019. After receiving input on the revisions from housing stakeholders, City Council officially approved the revisions March 9.

This policy update delivers on a key recommendation from the final report from the Mayor’s Task Force on Community Housing, which convened over a six-month period in 2019. The Task Force process included the largest public engagement in Burnaby’s history.

The updated Tenant Assistance Policy applies to all new rezonings as well as rezonings currently in stream that have not yet received second reading.

Renters in Burnaby now have some of the strongest protections in the country. On March 9, Council also updated a Rental Use Zoning Policy that not only protects existing rental stock but actually enhances it. This policy creates rental-only zoning to be used across the city, requires 1:1 replacement of rental units lost to development and an overall minimum of 20% rental housing in all new developments. Rents are to be set at 20% below the CMHC market median rate. If the tenant was displaced from the original building on the property, they would pay the same rent as they paid in the old building (plus any RTA increases) as per the Tenant Assistance Policy. These rental rates would be in perpetuity for these units, secured by a housing agreement. 

Backgrounder: Burnaby’s Tenant Assistance Policy

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

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