Participants at the Fairfield renters forum Thursday evening hear from city planners, including Robert Batallas, about where rental units fit into the draft Fairfield neighbourhood plan. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Participants at the Fairfield renters forum Thursday evening hear from city planners, including Robert Batallas, about where rental units fit into the draft Fairfield neighbourhood plan. (Lauren Boothby/VICTORIA NEWS)

Renters weigh in on Fairfield plan

City seeking feedback from renters about the draft Fairfield neighbourhood plan

Some 20 people attended a forum at the Fairfield Gonzales Community Association Thursday evening to hear about the City’s plans for rental housing in the neighbourhood plan.

The draft Fairfield neighbourhood plan retains rental apartments in the area north of Cook Street Village, and encourages developers to invest in and retrofit older rental buildings. The plan also allows a second secondary or garden suites in parts of the neighbourhood.

Renters that attended raised concerns about their current living situations. One woman indicated she had to choose between letting her landlord install new carpets, and staying without repairs because she may not be able to afford the new rent, or find a place to live elsewhere.

Mary Davies rents a house near the Gonzales/Fairfield border. She expressed concerned about the loss of older rental buildings in the neighbourhood.

“What happens to the displaced residents? What happens when a developer comes in and knocks down a building,” she said. “There’s nowhere for them to go.”

Chard Development’s Vivid at the Yates – financed by B.C. Housing – was given by City staff as an example of how the City might encourage developers to include below-market rentals in building applications.

Upcoming engagement sessions on the Fairfield Plan:

Dec. 7 – Christmas Tea – Worthy of the queen!, Cook Street Village Activity Centre, lounge, 380 Cook Street from 2 to 4 p.m.

Dec. 11 – Planning for Ross Bay Village: Planner and A Pint (must be 19+) – We’ll buy the appies!, Ross Bay Pub (Fairfield Plaza), 1516 Fairfield Road, from 4 to 6 p.m.

lauren.boothby@victorianews.com

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