October 17, 2018 9:28 pm
Updated: October 18, 2018 11:26 am

North Vancouver developer proposes new ‘demoviction’ solution

WATCH: A North Vancouver developer wants to build prefabricated homes for the people who will be displaced by its new project. Catherine Urquhart reports.

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A North Vancouver developer is proposing a novel solution to the ongoing problem of so-called “demovictions.”

The term refers to the eviction of tenants at aging affordable rental properties as they face redevelopment.

North Vancouver’s family-friendly Maplewood Gardens is one of those properties, and many residents feared they’d soon be without a home.

READ MORE: North Vancouver residents say they’re being forced out after District votes to replace housing complex

Now many seem excited about plans to redevelop their rental property.

The aging 50-unit townhome complex on Old Dollarton Road was bought in 2015 by Darwin Properties.

WATCH: Tenants raise concerns about demovictions


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The company plans to redevelop it with 372 condos and 79 rental suites, but doesn’t want current tenants to be homeless, said president Oliver Webbe.

“We thought, ‘Why don’t we think differently about it and see if we can come up with a solution to make sure that they stay here,'” Webbe said.

READ MORE: North Van developer says the industry needs to do more to help with the housing crisis

Tenants are being offered one of 99 units in a new modular building, with rents at below-market rates.

The District of North Vancouver has yet to approve the project, but one councillor is already lauding the novel approach.

WATCH: Burnaby seniors latest victims of Metrotown ‘demovictions’

“It’s exactly the kind of proposal that was missing and that we called for with other renovictions that occurred in the district, so we’re very happy with that,” said Coun. Jim Hanson.

READ MORE: Race to watch: Demoviction debate animates the battle for Burnaby

“We’re also very happy with the affordability features of the project that he brought forward.”

Darwin Properties says it hopes to get project permits and rezoning fast-tracked and the modular units completed in about 12 months.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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