October 7, 2014
Dear Minister Coleman:
I write you today because I have learned that BC Housing will soon be making some major changes to the way that the Stamps Place housing development is owned and managed. I also understand that BC Housing sent out a media advisory on Friday to say that a “non-profit asset transfer” process would be initiated for Stamps Place in the near future. I received phone calls and correspondence yesterday morning from a number of different people advising that they had heard that BC Housing will be finding a non-profit organization to take over the Stamps Place housing development. I was also informed that tenants received a letter on Friday saying that the property will no longer be operated by BC Housing in the near future, and that there will be new management within about six months’ time.
Already I have questions coming into my office regarding the pending changes. In particular, individuals are concerned about the operating agreements with the potential non-profit and their subsidy rates for both the short and long term. I would like to confirm that this plan will not displace current tenants, nor see their rent rates increase. Could you please confirm that there will be no changes to both the amount and the number of subsidies made available to the tenants at the Stamps Place development for both the short and long term? As a bench mark, can you advise how many people are receiving subsidies at this time and their rate of subsidy? Beyond the impact for the existing tenants, could you please also confirm that this plan will not change the rate and ratio of subsidies provided to this development in the long term? With the transfer of ownership and management of the Stamps Place development, could you advise if BC Housing will put in place conditions or covenants with the new operator to ensure that the site remains in perpetuity as non-profit housing?
With regard to staffing, I understand that the people currently employed at Stamps Place will not be affected or lose their jobs as a result of this process. Can you advise if there will be a successorship agreement with the prospective new operator? Could you advise the number of full-time staff or Full-Time Equivalent staff currently are employed at the Stamps Place site and their job titles?
Over the last few years, I have seen some renovation work done at the buildings. I would also like to have a clear understanding of all major renovations and building upgrade or maintenance projects that have been completed at Stamps Place in the past five years. Could you please provide me with a list of the major upgrades that were completed at the Stamps Place development? As well, are there any outstanding renovations or upgrades that remain to be undertaken? With this major change in direction for BC Housing, I would also like to know of BC's Housing plans for the MacLean Park housing development. Is it BC Housing's intention to retain and continue to operate MacLean Park under BC Housing, or will MacLean Park undergo a similar process as the Stamps Place development? Or alternatively, are there any plans to redevelop MacLean Park?
Your assistance in providing this information, and other updates as the asset transfer is undertaken, will be greatly appreciated. Already I have heard questions from constituents which suggest that incorrect information about the sale of the property may be circulating, so it would be most helpful if I am kept informed as this process unfolds.
Thank you and I will look forward to your reply.