VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Renters in Vancouver say they’re concerned seniors who are being forced out of their homes by a developer aren’t getting the support they need.
The Vancouver Tenants Union says members in the Mount Pleasant area are rallying on Tuesday in support of Nelia Guevarra, a 67-year-old Filipino-Canadian woman who has lived in the area of Broadway and Carolina Street for more than two decades. She and her husband Wilfredo now face eviction to make way for condos.
The Guevarras and others, including their neighbour Sarah Lindsay, were served an eviction notice by developer PortLiving on Sept. 1 so a new building could be built.
“These are not good people. This is not a company that has the best interest of Vancouver at heart,” Lindsay previously told NEWS 1130.
The VTU was able to eventually negotiate an agreement for Lindsay, but not for the Guevarras.
PortLiving plans to build a residential complex in the area, despite ongoing lawsuits. Tenants say the developer hasn’t done enough to help the Guevarras, and want to see the couple be fairly compensated.
“If there’s abuse you have to speak up or you’ll be stuck in the same situation,” Guevarra says as she speaks to the crowd. pic.twitter.com/J48esLIhyC
— Arvin Joaquin (@arvinjoaquin) September 30, 2020
Speaking to NEWS 1130 earlier this month, Vince Tao of the VTU said PortLiving has only done the bare minimum to help the couple and the other low-income residents of the area.
“Cases like this set a precedent for renters across Vancouver who live at risk of displacement when their homes are redeveloped,” the VTU writes on Facebook, urging the neighborhood to unite behind the Guevarras.
This follows the end of the moratorium on evictions that the province had put in place at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As the health crisis drags on, the VTU says more renters may be at risk of losing their homes.