The following letter was sent to the Verdun borough and elected officials during the period of written public consultation on proposed bylaw 1700-125P1.
Thank you to the 148 residents of Verdun and eight organsations that signed the letter and to all those who supported the protection of rental housing in Verdun in other ways.
Subject: We ask you to modify the proposed bylaw – together, we can preserve the rental housing stock and limit the loss of apartments!
To whom it may concern,
We are writing to you as Verdun residents and organisations because we are very concerned about the housing crisis and its consequences for many members of our community. The current situation is causing many tragedies, especially for families and people living alone who are evicted and have difficulties finding a place to live in our community.
You have the power and at this important moment the opportunity to stop certain evictions and to protect part of our rental housing by preventing any two appartments from being transformed into a single dwelling. The loss of apartments does against objectives of the borough of allowing people to stay in their community and for environmental sustainability.
We ask that you modify the proposed bylaw to prevent apartments from being fused together, regardless of the size of the building. We are concerned that in the current version of the proposed bylaw (1700-125P1) that almost all fusions of apartments would be allowed (in duplexes, triplexes up until sixplexes, as long as only two apartments are fused together). While we appreciate that the bylaw includes protections against subdivisions of apartments and their conversion into divided co-properties (condos), fusions should also be prevented, as it is the main cause of the loss of rental housing.
We are conscious that some landlords who feel they lack space want to have the option to add a floor to their appartment. While we understand their situation, the privilege of living in a large space should not trump another’s right to housing. In this period of acute housing crisis, the neighbourhood cannot allow itself to lose housing.