In September, real estate investment firm Columbia Wealth Investments (CWI) purchased Cityviews Village, a low-rise apartment building in Maple Ridge. The building is relatively affordable, because most of its low-income tenants, many of whom are seniors, women, Indigenous, and disabled, have been living there for years.
Curtis Lachance, a low-income disabled man, was served an eviction notice in October for failure to pay rent. As it turned out, there was a mix-up by Welfare: they had sent two of his rent cheques to the old landlord. Curtis’s mom, Joyce, made sure that his rent was paid up. But in December, Curtis received an Order of Possession: he was being evicted for failure to pay rent anyway.
Curtis’s neighbors held a news conference highlighting how their new landlords, Bill Mitsui and Tyler Zhang of CWI, have been using harassment, abuse, and intimidation to push low-income people out of the building, a strategy we call “intimi-victions.”
But it was too late for Curtis: in early February, Mitsui paid a bailiff to throw him out of his one bedroom apartment. Curtis was paying $600 a month. Mitsui and Zhang stand to double the profit they were making from his apartment now that he’s gone.
Mitsui and Zhang are so upset that Cityviews tenants are fighting for their rights that they have repeatedly violated the Residential Tenancy Act and tried to stop an Eviction Defense Network tenant advocate from speaking to tenants.
We are rallying outside Bill Mitsui’s home at 6528 Wellington Place to demand an end to his intimi-victions, harassment, and abuse of tenants!
RENT CONTROL NOW!
Bill Mitsui is a particularly terrible landlord, using harassment, intimidation, and unlawful but frightening threats of eviction to pave the way for his private investment company to double the profits of their anonymous investors. But the NDP and the Province are also responsible for Curtis’s eviction.
Because rent control is tied to tenants, not units, evictions are incentivized for all landlords. The bigger the difference between a tenant’s current rent and current market rent, the greater an incentive landlords like Mitsui have to evict their tenants by any means available to them.
The Eviction Defense Network says: Rent control now! All evictions are unjust!