July 8, 2009

Vancouver targets run-down rentals with new tactic

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If slumlords won’t keep their rentals in shape, the city will get a judge to order the work be done by city-paid crews. That’s the tactic the Vancouver City Council is taking, says a story in today’s Vancouver Sun by Rebecca Tebrake. Vancouver is in the midst of a campaign to improve slum housing conditions, particularly in the rundown Downtown Eastside neighborhood.  Recalcitrant landlords whose properties are fixed by city-paid crews could see the cost of repairs added to their city tax bill. The city’s always had that power, but the new twist is getting a judge to order the repairs. That way, there won’t be any squabbling later about whether the repairs are really necessary. Interesting that there’s no mention in the article of the upcoming Olympic Games; this appears to be part of a series of efforts by Vancouver to get its house in order in anticipation of the world’s TV cameras being focused on the city next year.

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