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Housing Crisis

Social, economic and environmental issues in our ever-changing world.

Housing Crisis

Postby Grandan » Jul 22nd, 2017, 10:34 am

https://www.castanet.net/edition/news-s ... htm#202188
In light of the hundreds of people who are now homeless due to fire evacuations or the loss of their homes, I do believe the housing crisis in the Okanagan should be addressed.
Not only in recent months has this been a mass problem amongst lower income or middle class working families and people with pets here in the Okanagan, but now with many more people displaced this crisis had become in simplest terms a state of emergency. Shelters around the interior are at capacity housing people who otherwise would be on the streets and for what? Because there is nothing large enough available to rent or if there is the prices are so high they would have to chose a roof or power and gas and food or maybe we should talk about the elephant in the room and also take into consideration the fact many people although illegal turn people away for having children!

***
This is getting worse and if this letter doesn't open the eyes of people with the ability to change this, then maybe some of the stories being shared on social media will. Too often we see ads pleading for leads on houses for rent for families of all types. Moms and dads begging for someone to help them so they don't have to explain to their children that the warm bed they once knew is now the scratchy surface of a hard tent bottom. The safety of a locked door is no more and the only thing now keeping them safe is mesh and a zipper. These are the people who work without a break to make it by in their community. The people who have paid their rent on time every month and yet still have been thrown to the wolves, without a leg to stand on.

In reading this there are several thoughts that come to mind not the least of which is the priority placed on stewardship of the land. Currently there is a priority to preserving agricultural land for future generations. The fact that there is insufficient land available on which to build homes to accommodate the many people who want to live in our spectacular valley does not enter the equation. Preserve farmland, that's the right thing to do! But, is it? Is the ALR a drag on the economy? Does it stifle economic growth.
Plantings on agricultural land has been stepped up in recent years providing thousands of jobs for migrant workers who in turn place a burden on housing in the region. Marginal areas in the ALR have little to no agricultural potential due to topography and size restrictions yet the remain protected from tax burden while remaining fallow so no benefit now or in the future. The Agricultural Land Commission promised to remove those properties which are not farmland, to refine ALR boundaries to better reflect the community interface. To create permanent defensible boundaries such as topographical breaks and water bodies as transitions. Why has all this not happened so that the marginalized workers can find a decent place to live? Why are there tax breaks for owners of land in the ALR which is not farmland, is not farmable nor viable to farm in the future?
Waste not

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Re: Housing Crisis

Postby TylerM4 » Jul 23rd, 2017, 8:16 am

I think you may be on to something here. But I'm not sure I'd focus solely on ALR.

When was the last time the government released crown land? I don't think it's been done in my lifetime - not since the 70's at least. Property prices, like everything else are dictated by supply and demand. If there has been no additional supply then demand will increase with pricing to match.

Having said that - I'm not sure I like the idea of selling our natural resources. Plus, there's a lot of land available in other small communities across the province. And it's cheap. Maybe they could introduce some sort of land transfer process? Revert owned land in Beverdell to crown land, and crown land to owned land in Kelowna?

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Re: Housing Crisis

Postby Jflem1983 » Jul 23rd, 2017, 8:26 am

TylerM4 wrote:I think you may be on to something here. But I'm not sure I'd focus solely on ALR.

When was the last time the government released crown land? I don't think it's been done in my lifetime - not since the 70's at least. Property prices, like everything else are dictated by supply and demand. If there has been no additional supply then demand will increase with pricing to match.

Having said that - I'm not sure I like the idea of selling our natural resources. Plus, there's a lot of land available in other small communities across the province. And it's cheap. Maybe they could introduce some sort of land transfer process? Revert owned land in Beverdell to crown land, and crown land to owned land in Kelowna?




I agree it's an artificial bubble created by government . Drive on any highway . All kinds of land around
We don't reach for handouts we reach for those who are down . "Garth Brooks "

You have got to stand for something . Or you will fall for anything "Aaron Tippin"

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Re: Housing Crisis

Postby jimmy4321 » Jul 23rd, 2017, 10:29 am

Honestly i think Kelowna and most cities need to concentrate on building higher density areas, i think it's far more efficient for governments to provide services. Actually there is a trend of people moving to the cities, age plays a big part when it comes to mobility and health care etc.
I may be a hypocrite as this isn't the way i'm accustomed to living , but i see how it would be beneficial.
Long story short , i think Kelowna has many options to explore before cutting down orchards.

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Re: Housing Crisis

Postby Silverstarqueen » Jul 23rd, 2017, 10:35 am

Between kelowna and vernon there are over 2300 places listed for sale. So there might be a shortage of rentals, but there is no serious shortage of homes. Shortage of steady decent paying jobs so people can afford to buy or rent a home, yes. If there were enough jobs, people would come, and builders would build. There is an unlimited number of homes for that reason. Look at Fort Mac. Now they had a housing crisis, boom up go hundreds of homes.

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Re: Housing Crisis

Postby TylerM4 » Jul 23rd, 2017, 11:22 am

Good point.

I still firmly believe that you'd see more rentals at lower prices if the province would fix the Residential Tenancy Act. It needs to be fair to both landlords and renters. Right now it's way too biased toward the renter and places large risk on the landlord.

IF they put just a fraction of the money they put toward affordable housing into revising the act we'd all be a lot better off.

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Re: Housing Crisis

Postby Silverstarqueen » Jul 23rd, 2017, 11:44 am

Agree, I used to rent a small home out, and the abuse that the tenants pulled basically sent me to selling the place. The risks were way too high, returns too low. Too bad, a nice, reasonably priced place was taken out of the rental market.I think this happens many times over across the valley.

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Re: Housing Crisis

Postby Grandan » Jul 23rd, 2017, 11:56 am

jimmy4321 wrote:Honestly i think Kelowna and most cities need to concentrate on building higher density areas, i think it's far more efficient for governments to provide services. Actually there is a trend of people moving to the cities, age plays a big part when it comes to mobility and health care etc.
I may be a hypocrite as this isn't the way i'm accustomed to living , but i see how it would be beneficial.
Long story short , i think Kelowna has many options to explore before cutting down orchards.

I don't think anyone is talking about cutting down orchards, it is about using land locked in the ALR which has not been farmed because cannot be farmed but could support higher density housing. So instead of having a single family residence with a half acre of bush, it could easily be at minimum a 4 plex, possibly town homes if they meet the guidelines.
Waste not
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Re: Housing Crisis

Postby dirtybiker » Jul 23rd, 2017, 12:15 pm

Grandan wrote:Long story short , i think Kelowna has many options to explore before cutting down orchards.

I don't think anyone is talking about cutting down orchards, it is about using land locked in the ALR which has not been farmed because cannot be farmed but could support higher density housing. So instead of having a single family residence with a half acre of bush, it could easily be at minimum a 4 plex, possibly town homes if they meet the guidelines.[/quote]

Soooo, Having a little trouble getting the zone use changed in the back quagmire are we ?


Heh, heh. :biggrin:
"Don't 'p' down my neck then tell me it's raining!"

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Re: Housing Crisis

Postby jimmy4321 » Jul 23rd, 2017, 12:17 pm

ok
What do you think these rentals will rent for when you can take that same townhouse and sell it for over $350k ?
The crisis is that people aren't moving away to more affordable markets outside BC.

There's this attitude that it's owed to everyone to be able to live here and enjoy the mild winters and hot summers, sometimes these places are better for spending their vacation time.

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Re: Housing Crisis

Postby Grandan » Jul 24th, 2017, 7:26 am

dirtybiker wrote:Soooo, Having a little trouble getting the zone use changed in the back quagmire are we ?


Heh, heh. :biggrin:


I'm having a great time enjoying the benefits of reduced taxes based on being in the ALR.
Having lived on and worked the land for over 20 years I can attest to the fact that once you cover up 10,000 years of topsoil with 2 ft of subsurface clay and blast rock there is no going back. Having ended up down the creek bank more than once I can attest to the fact that there are real dangers to operating machinery next to a steep embankment.
The author has some valid points and I think that the solution in part is to get past this ridiculous ALR scheme which has marginal land in the ALR and takes out large flat pieces of bottom land for apartments, none of which is affordable housing.
So the situation I see is many thousands of properties sitting locked in the ALR yet are not viable for agriculture due to size limitations, topography and poor soils yet they are getting a tax subsidy for remaining in the ALR for no future benefit to the ALR while at the same time families are unable to afford anything because land values have been driven up by an artificial shortage.
This is getting worse and if this letter doesn't open the eyes of people with the ability to change this, then maybe some of the stories being shared on social media will. Too often we see ads pleading for leads on houses for rent for families of all types. Moms and dads begging for someone to help them so they don't have to explain to their children that the warm bed they once knew is now the scratchy surface of a hard tent bottom. The safety of a locked door is no more and the only thing now keeping them safe is mesh and a zipper. These are the people who work without a break to make it by in their community. The people who have paid their rent on time every month and yet still have been thrown to the wolves, without a leg to stand on.

Waste not

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Re: Housing Crisis

Postby seewood » Jul 24th, 2017, 8:58 am

TylerM4 wrote:I still firmly believe that you'd see more rentals at lower prices if the province would fix the Residential Tenancy Act. It needs to be fair to both landlords and renters. Right now it's way too biased toward the renter and places large risk on the landlord. IF they put just a fraction of the money they put toward affordable housing into revising the act we'd all be a lot better off.


Agree 100%

Silverstarqueen wrote:Agree, I used to rent a small home out, and the abuse that the tenants pulled basically sent me to selling the place. The risks were way too high, returns too low. Too bad, a nice, reasonably priced place was taken out of the rental market.I think this happens many times over across the valley.


My brother sold his rental house as it was easier way to evict the tenants that were ruining the house.( Squamish)
My rental space now newly renovated is now going to be "office space" no way am I ever going to have a tenant again that will fall under the auspices of the RTB. Last one got real nasty after a legal eviction and is currently suing me for $13,000 wanting compensation after the fact....( she has a history of litigation after being "put-out)

Landlords want to be able to have a better, quicker, fairer way of evicting lousy tenants.
I believe the increase in Air B&B is a result of the bias in the RTB.
I am not wealthy but I am rich

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Re: Housing Crisis

Postby Piecemaker » Jul 24th, 2017, 12:45 pm

We retired from being landlords due to tenant issues as well. Our rental properties were on the island and we were in the Okanagan. It got more difficult once we no longer lived down the street from our rental properties.
It's possible to do all the right things and still get a bad result.
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Re: Housing Crisis

Postby Piecemaker » Jul 24th, 2017, 12:55 pm

jimmy4321 wrote:ok
What do you think these rentals will rent for when you can take that same townhouse and sell it for over $350k ?
The crisis is that people aren't moving away to more affordable markets outside BC.

There's this attitude that it's owed to everyone to be able to live here and enjoy the mild winters and hot summers, sometimes these places are better for spending their vacation time.


The Housing Crisis is not just in the Okanagan. It's in many parts of BC. Many who rent, cannot afford to purchase a house anywhere. Areas where houses are less expensive to buy tend to have fewer jobs. Rents are not significantly lower in those more isolated communities, at least not for those working at low-paying jobs or receiving disability benefits or income assistance.
It's possible to do all the right things and still get a bad result.
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Re: Housing Crisis

Postby Glacier » Jul 24th, 2017, 1:43 pm

You can rent a 3 bedroom house in Prince Rupert for under 1000 per month. I'd guess Beaverdell would be similar. Basically, when I hear someone say we should transfer land from Beaverdell to Kelowna, they are essentially say that we need to make everyone else in the province smart enough to live where housing is affordable pay the insane prices people in Kelowna pay, further gutting the rural areas of BC.
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