Apartment Rentals? Soon it’s Buy or Goodbye!
It does not take rocket science to appreciate the importance of affordable apartments to struggling immigrants, young families and all working class people.
Yet, something morbidly greedy is happening all over Canada: unchecked condo construction instead of rental unit building and planning.
That’s right my dear newbie house-hunters, even the Mayors are taking notice.
According to the eye-opening report (pdf) by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, as many as one third of all Canadians choose to live in rental homes, but only 10 percent new buildings constructed in the last ten years are new apartments for rent!
City halls across Canada are demanding that the Feds take action on how this ridiculously crazy rental unavailability is risking and jeopardizing everyone from working-class communities, relocators and even old Canadians.
No vacancy, and not just jobs
If something is not done quickly, soon there will be no place for you to live in Canada, my dear aspirants of high Canadian hopes, unless you have enough money to buy a place of your own (which essentially means burying yourself in endless debt, more on that below.) Viva la Dream Canadiana! Or more poetically, kiss your desires of singing the Canadian home and native land goodbye, my misty-eyed migrant mates!
Forget immigrants or newcomers just for a moment. Think how significant this is for everyone, including cash-strapped young couples and a rapidly aging population. Affordable housing is the very least one can provide for oneself and one’s family.
Pay more, now pay again, then keep paying forever
And that’s not all. The speculative housing price bubble has ensured even fewer people are able to afford to buy houses, given no choice. In some areas like Brampton, Ontario, there have been waiting lists of upto 15,000 applicants for even suitable rental apartments.
Besides, high home prices have also resulted in high levels of debt for great many ownership households, thus keeping the bulk of the population under perpetual debt-payment-repayment cycle till death does them apart. No wonder banks are at the forefront in welcoming newcomers!
The FCM study also says that the average costs for single detached homes doubled between 2001 and 2010, while household incomes have not kept up, obviously.
It’s a rich man’s Canada now, bubba
May be it would help if the one-percent in power realizes that not all of us are wealthy retirees coming to this land of milk and honey from, say, Middle East or Hong Kong, and who are happily able to pay upfront for spacious condos or houses.
But, I think, that is just what the right(eous)-honourable conservative Minister of Immigration wants: more wealthy retired immigrants instead of eager hard-working newcomers, while his friends in the same administration are paving the way back home for more exorbitantly expensive luxury condos and the likes for the cronies and their Big Real Estate Developer buddies.
Makes good business sense, after all… ha!
First Published: May 2nd, 2012