Support programs, housing make women safer when fleeing violence, say advocates
For many Metro Vancouver women escaping domestic abuse, the choice is homelessness or returning to their abuser. As the affordability crisis makes it harder for women to take their children and flee violence, advocates are calling for more housing across B.C.They want more emergency shelters for women to stay in the first weeks after fleeing abuse, more subsidized housing and stricter rent controls — and are calling for all levels of government to bring Vancouver's housing market into line with the wages people are paid in Metro Vancouver.
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Finding a rental home in the Vancouver region can be a fraught experience full of disappointment.
While there may be some anecdotal softening of the rental market, given the arrival of new purpose-built rental homes and various interventions in housing policy by government, finding a rental home in the region has not yet become significantly easier, said Robert Patterson, a legal advocate for the(TRAC).
“The market is still very competitive,” he said. “Especially for certain kinds of renters. So, people who have pets, people who may have children. Landlords aren’t supposed to discriminate against people for having children, and yet it can make things more difficult.”
B.C. 'well on way' to hit ambitious affordable housing target: Minister
The B.C. government is on track to hit its ambitious target of building 114,000 new homes of affordable housing over 10 years with the help of community partners, but more work needs to be done, said the housing minister at an affordable-housing conference Sunday. Addressing attendees of the three-day Housing Central conference at a downtown Vancouver hotel, Selina Robinson said 22,460 homes have been completed or are underway across B.C. as of August, with new buildings breaking ground every week. “We are well on our way of achieving our goal,” she said, adding 114,000 is a “big number.” “There is still so much more to do.” The B.C.
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Patterson shared nine tips to help prospective renters find their next rental home.
1. Be honest with yourself
“Think realistically about what you’re going to need in a rental unit,” Patterson said. “What are the real limitations? What are your needs? And what are your wants?”
You don’t want to get locked into a tenancy agreement that doesn’t work for you.
2. Sell yourself
While touring units and meeting landlords, make sure you’re well dressed and present yourself as a serious renter, he said. Bring a notepad and take notes to keep details straight and come with a list of questions you need answered — especially if you’re touring several units.
3. Don’t overcommit
Once you’ve found the place you know you want and reach an agreement with the landlord, then pay a security deposit.
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“Generally, as soon as you pay a security deposit, that usually is legally sufficient to create a tenancy,” Patterson said. But if you provide a deposit for a place you don’t end up taking, it’s unlikely you’ll get your deposit back.
4. Look for red flags
It should raise an alarm if a landlord starts asking for additional fees, Patterson said. It’s illegal to request additional application fees, for instance.
If the landlord says they are only interested in renting to people of a certain race or sexual orientation, for example, then that’s not only illegal, it’s a sign they’re untrustworthy as a landlord, he said.
5. Be sure of the costs
It’s up to you to know exactly what your rent will include. Be careful not to assume your base rent includes additional amenities like parking or storage, which could end up as additional costs. “That’s really important,” Patterson said.
6. Sort out your moving arrangements
Once you’ve found your home, make sure you arrange your moving vehicle and/or moving company, and set aside a budget and schedule for those arrangements. Also ensure your move-out date and move-in dates line up well.
Vancouver empty homes tax nets another $39M as number of vacant properties drop, city says
According to the report released Wednesday, $39.4 million in revenue was raised during the 2018 tax year, which was collected from the owners of 1,989 vacant properties. That's a 22 per cent drop from the number of vacant properties taxed in 2017, when 2,538 homes generated $38 million in revenue.The revenue collected by the empty homes tax goes towards affordable housing projects and programs in Vancouver, including the creation of new housing and enhanced protections for renters.
“ Vancouver is in a rental- housing crisis,” Gregor Robertson, the mayor of Vancouver , said earlier this month as he unveiled details of the tax. “The city won’t sit on the sidelines while over 20,000 empty and under-occupied properties hold back homes from renters struggling to find an affordable and secure
Vancouver authorities have taken extraordinary action to curb its super-heated housing market . Debelle predicts stalemate in Vancouver ’ s market as sellers refuse to drop prices. “In truth, it has been tough for first-time buyers for nearly a generation now,” he says.
7. Get a copy of your tenancy agreement
Once your tenancy begins, your landlord is legally obligated to provide you with a printed copy of your lease agreement. “Read all of the terms of the tenancy agreement,” Patterson said. Know exactly what you’re agreeing to.
8. Document your walk-through
Always do a walk-through of the property before you move in any of your belongings. Your landlord is also legally required to provide a condition inspection report, Patterson said.
For extra protection, it’s a good idea to record a video walk-through on your phone to record any damage. That will help you to avoid disputes with the landlord at the end of your tenancy when it’s time to get your damage deposit.
9. Create a roommate agreement
If you are going to be living with one or more roommates, it’s wise to also draw up a separate roommate agreement. (TRAC has afor these on their website.)
The agreement should cover issues like expenses, chores and how a tenancy should be ended, all of which can quickly become thorny issues if not properly tended, Patterson said.
Overcrowding In Housing Is Worst In Toronto, Western Canada: StatCan .
MONTREAL ― Four decades of negligible rental housing construction is catching up to Canada’s cities, particularly those with rapid population growth. Nearly one in 10 Canadian households that rent on the open market are suffering from overcrowding, Statistics Canada reported in the first batch of data from its Canadian Housing Survey. This is the first time StatCan has run this survey, so there is no earlier data that would allow us to see whether the problem is intensifying.