Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Time for rent control legislation?

Canada is in a significant housing crunch and St. John’s is definitely no exception to that. The Conference Board of Canada released a report today entitled Building from the Ground Up which says, "there is an appreciable shortage of good-quality, affordable housing in Canada. Consequently, approximately 25 per cent of Canadians rely on housing subsidies or experience periods where they spend over 30 per cent of their before-tax household income on housing.” The report goes on to say, “20 per cent of Canadians can only keep a roof over their heads by cutting costs in ways that could harm their health — such as buying less nutritious food.” When you look at the rental market in St. John’s, it’s not hard to understand. A decent, 2-bedroom basement apartment (about all that is available) is in the $800 range and from my experience, they are small. A main floor can set you back up to $1300 a month. I remember talking to a rental agent for Northern Properties a few months ago she told me that out of 1400 apartments under their control, only two were available for rental. Some landlords won’t even accept rental subsidies from the provincial social services. It’s pretty bad when you have to decide whether to feed your kids nutritious food or get a decent apartment. Maybe it’s time for the PCs to consider rent control legislation.


Anonymous said...

I totally agree. Rent control is a must for St. John's, Newfoundland. The rental rate has exceeded most of our incomes and any pay increases. Landlords are increasing the rent but slack on the maintenance of their houses. They want the money, but many do not perform regular maintenance on their

I am presently renting a home and my landlord has recently told me that he will be selling in the 2011. There is no way I can afford the prices people are asking for (as a mortgage) so my children and I will soon be looking elsewhere. I have been trying to find an apartment in the same area and there is nothing out there in my price range. Seriously, $1200.00 p.o.u - is totally outrageous! We have a spayed cat and a hamster - hence the word. . . NO PETS!

When you do see something in your price range, it is almost definitely a rundown apartment. So you have two choices: live in a rundown house in a bad section of town or pay more than you can afford, give up your car and necessities and live far below the cost of living.

I work full time for the provincial government and with the cost of living today, I can not make ends meet. So what will happen to us when we have to move?

ViewPoint2010 said...

Thanks for posting. You're right - there are so few options available for people in what used to be the mid-range of the income scale, but is now far below the average. When average incomes in the oil industry may be up around the $100k range, how do the rest of us cope? Again, thanks for posting.