Emotional Breakdown Salt Spring Style

When people talk about the housing crisis on the island, they usually discuss property price, rental availabilty, landlord/tenant issues, water, and, inevitably it seems, the environment.

However, there is another effect the housing crisis has – serious, emotional impact on young families trying to survive, pay the rent and buy groceries while raising children.

Anyone in the Salt Spring workforce who has had children knows exactly what I mean.

I was lucky enough in 1979, when my daughter was born, to buy a .75 acre lot for $17,500 and move a 20’x20′ cottage (which we paid $10,000 for), onto it.

Today, it would likely cost me $500,000 to do the same thing.

The stress young families, who are renting, go through now includes the constant threat of their rental home being sold for $1+ million, and getting two months notice.

This happens EVERY SINGLE month now, as investment rental homes are put up for sale.

Virtually no one is buying property here to use as rental income anymore.

And, those who are buying a propery with a house and cottage on it for $1.3 million don’t want, or need, a tenant in the cottage, thank you very much. Same goes for homes with secondary suites.

Thus we are now on a downward slope of rental units which has now surfaced with nearly every employer on the island being challenged to find workers who can (a) afford to live here, and (b) find a rental unit. The first question an employer now asks is – “Have you secure housing?”

The next time you hear someone talking about housing, just remember the people who are living in the houses they don’t own.

So, before you vote on October 15th, ask the candidates of your choice EXACTLY how they are going to deal with the crisis, and don’t settle for “we need more studies” or generalized ideas. Ask for specifics on how their plan/vision will actually deal with the crisis. If they can’t satisfy you, then consider other candidates.

On October 15th, elect two people who have a clear plan for the future of our community. This is a watershed election. If you are one of the over 6,000 employees or employers on the island you need to pay attention and get out and vote.

One Response to Emotional Breakdown Salt Spring Style

  1. John Cade says:

    Well said

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