Rental short­age at ‘boil­ing point’

Fam­ily re­counts ex­pe­ri­ence liv­ing in a tent after be­ing evicted from base­ment suite

StarMetro Vancouver - - VANCOUVER - WANYEE LI thes­tar.com/van­cou­ver

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

WANYEE LI/STARMETRO VAN­COU­VER

Sur­rey res­i­dents Jackie My­e­rion and Jesse Kirkpatrick speak at Union Gospel Mis­sion about their strug­gle try­ing to find hous­ing for their fam­ily of four.

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