An exchange at Monday night’s Coquitlam city council meeting is shining a harsh light on the gulf between some Metro Vancouver homeowners and renters.
Speaking out against a proposed development of four single-family house on Edgar Avenue, Coquitlam resident Jayson Chabot said that type of housing will bring a different type of person to the city, leading to “slummy” conditions.
“The developers need to think in terms of family ownership instead of return on investment,” he said to council. “These detached units will attract renters instead of homeowners. The absence of long-term residents… results in quote-unquote slummy conditions over time.”
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart took issue with the comment, saying there are “some people in the audience, including me, that are offended by the suggestion that renters are to be avoided in your neighbourhood because they will degrade your neighbourhood — it’ll turn slummy.”
Chabot said the comment stemmed from his observations of what has happened in his neighbourhood.
Stewart told Global News on Tuesday that Chabot misunderstood the nature of the proposed project, saying the four single-family homes will be individually owned, “so it’s more likely that this project is the opposite of what he thought it was.”
“It was the sentiment that renters are somehow something we should be trying to avoid in our neighbourhoods that offended me,” he added. “It offends me every time I hear it.”