After a year-long moratorium on demovictions, developers are back in Metrotown. On Tuesday, November 19 2019, Burnaby City Council will hear rezoning applications for eight buildings, which developers want to demolish and replace with high-rises from 34- to 43-storeys tall. The buildings on the chopping block include 4960 Bennett Street, 6525 Telford Ave, 6444 Willingdon, 4241 Maywood St, and four buildings on Marlborough Ave (6556/66/80/96).
According to Zhandong, who has lived at 6444 Willingdon for the past 14 years, developers don’t care about tenants. “The prices are skyrocketing and we live in fear of becoming homeless. Developers just want to work with the government, not with us.” With nowhere to move until the new buildings are ready to go, tenants are promised to enter a new circle of displacement.
All four developer projects promised new rental apartments for displaced tenants following the Housing Task Force’s recommendation of a one-to-one replacement plan for people evicted due to demolition. But the one to one replacement plan has not been voted into law so presently there is no legal obligation for developers, or Burnaby’s municipal government, to find people new homes.
Residents of Metrotown and supporters will rally to speak at the public hearing, demanding once again for:
Mayor Mike Hurley was elected on the coattails of Metrotown residents, who have fought tirelessly to save their homes and neighbourhood. Will Hurley follow the path of the infamous former mayor Derek Corrigan, who made Metrotown the epicentre of the demoviction crisis, or will he listen to the people?