Rents a nightmare
As a renter, I was delighted that North Cowichan council is considering the issue of rapidly rising rents. Rents are a nightmare now — if you’ve lived anywhere for a couple of years, you can never afford to move again. At least, not without paying hundreds of dollars more in rent each month. Some councillors seem to be slightly out of touch with the current reality.
Long term renters, especially those who have lived decades in the same apartment, can have really decent rent. I know of someone paying less than $900 for a two-bedroom, and have heard of others paying $600 or so for a one-bedroom. But once those people leave, those suites won’t go up 25 or 50 per cent — they could easily increase 100 per cent or more. Those affordable suites will no longer exist.
As Councillor Manhas says, the marketplace will dictate what rents will be. What he didn’t say is that citizens will end up paying for the many services required by the steadily increasing homeless population, pushed into the street by this lack of humane policy. I’ve read studies that say most homeless people who use drugs are able to reduce drug use or even quit, once they have a home. If we have any choice, why wouldn’t we try to help everyone stay housed, where they can look after themselves and stay healthier?