Editorial: Situation dire for Island residents looking to rent

Vacancy rate in B.C. is a tiny 1.4 per cent

This is why we need both affordable housing.

A report from the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation released last week shows that B.C. has some of the lowest rental vacancy rates in Canada, and the highest average rents.

Some perspective: the vacancy rate in B.C. is a tiny 1.4 per cent, with the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment soaring to $1,387 per month. That’s higher than in Toronto and Alberta.

About one-quarter of municipalities in B.C. have an even lower vacancy rate of under one per cent. The only way it could be worse is if you were in Charlottetown, P.E.I., with a minuscule 0.2 per cent vacancy rate.

So the picture is this: if you can manage to find a place to rent, the owner or manager is calling all the shots and the renter must agree to pretty much anything in order to get a roof over their head. And it’s going to take at least half of most people’s paycheques. Think about being a single parent trying to afford that, or a senior on a fixed income. What if you have a big family and need more than two bedrooms? The price just keeps climbing. Then imagine if you have a pet and are trying to find somewhere. It’s a nightmare.

One of our reporters remarked that you pretty much have to know someone to find a place in many Island communities.

So while our municipalities need to look at managing projects in a way that’s much less of a hassle to existing residents (they can’t have streets essentially impassible for months at a time), that kind of planning is certainly possible, and the housing is desperately needed.

Those who can’t afford to, or for whatever reason don’t want to buy a home, still need and deserve to have a roof over their heads.

They also need and deserve to have palatable options so they don’t get stuck in terrible and even abusive situations, but are forced to stay because their only other choice is, literally, the street.

Just Posted

Rickter Scale: The view through a smoky mirror

Remembering life in the glory days of smoking

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at car dealership in Campbell River turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Horgan heckled as gas prices sit at record high, could go up more

Premier John Horgan blames refiners, not taxes

Home care transition could exacerbate worker shortage: Seniors advocate

Advocate fears impact of eight-hour shift model on an industry under stress

Tofino beckons Trudeau back for Easter vacation

Environmental group hopes latest Pacific Rim vacation inspires change in prime minister

VIDEO: ‘Alarm bells’ raised by footage allegedly from B.C. pig farm, SPCA says

PETA released video Wednesday showing dead and injured piglets next to nursing piglets

Police charge 27-year-old male in Langford shooting

Justin Lemmen was arrested shortly after the shooting after crashing into a truck

Good Samaritans rescue Sidney senior trapped under mobility scooter

78-year-old broke her pelvis and spent a week in hospital after the accident

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Woman who was chased and tackled after break-in sentenced on Vancouver Island

Natasha Geraldine Harris, 28, was sentenced to time served and will be released from jail

Most Read