Rental shortage at ‘boiling point’
Family recounts experience living in a tent after being evicted from basement suite
Jackie Myerion and Jesse Kirikpatrick told their two schoolaged children they were camping.
The family of four lived in a tent in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside for two weeks this summer after their landlord in Surrey evicted them from a basement suite.
“It’s really scary when it happens at first. You’re not too sure what to do,” said Kirkpatrick at a press conference Thursday.
The family later found secure housing in Surrey, but their “devastating” experience is increasingly common, Union Gospel Mission spokesperson Jeremy Hunka said.
A joint report from the mission and the University of
British Columbia’s School of Regional and Community Planning outlines surging rental costs, plummeting vacancy rates and dramatic increases in applicants for B.C.’S housing registry in the Metro Vancouver area.
The vacancy rate for twobedroom suites in Surrey was
0.7 per cent in 2017, a nearly
6-percentage point drop from the rate in 2012, according to the report. Vacancy rates for one bedrooms and studios in Metro Vancouver are 0.9 and
0.8 per cent, respectively.
“We’re reaching a boiling point,” said Penny Gurstein, a professor at UBC’S School of Community and Regional Planning. Read more at
Surrey residents Jackie Myerion and Jesse Kirkpatrick speak at Union Gospel Mission about their struggle trying to find housing for their family of four.