Protecting our heritage – residents desperate for a balance
Few would deny that there is a need for new construction; with demand outstripping supply in many areas it’s essential that we have homes for a growing population and construction boosts the economy. However, does this always have to result in the tearing down of heritage properties, sometimes whole neighbourhoods, or can we achieve a balance? Vancouver resident Carline Adderson has a Facebook page
detailing the changing face of the city and is pleased that some of the city’s neighbourhoods are included on a list of endangered places published by Heritage Canada. She says it raises awareness of the issue, not just in her city but across the country. Janet Leduc of Heritage Vancouver says that while they accept that the city needs change it should be done as natural evolution rather than the “wholesale tearing down of everything in a neighbourhood.” For its part, the City of Vancouver is making it easier to get permits that allow renovation rather than destruction of older properties. They realise it’s a political issue, with over 4,000 signatures so far added to a petition to save Vancouver’s character homes. Read the full story.
Calgary rental market proves tough for mom
A single mom from Calgary has highlighted the lack of supply in the city’s rental market. Sharon Stevenson says that despite checking listings almost hourly, it took her four months to find a property suitable for her and her family. Sharon says she faced many questions about her family status; although she has good job some landlords were concerned, but the main issue was lack of availability. Calgary has one of the lowest vacancy rates in the country at 1.4 per cent. Although Sharon was hoping to rent a house, she has had to settle for the main floor of a house for now, while the search goes on. Read the full story.
Saving for that down payment means some tough choices
With a recent report showing that there is a growing gap between the wealth of seniors and those in their twenties, the prospect of saving for a down payment for young first-time buyers is more daunting than ever. Assuming the whole amount isn’t available from a relative with spare cash available, there will be some tough choices to make to free up money for saving. Simple things though, like making your own lunch instead of eating out could save over $1000 and ditching the car in favor of the bus could add an extra $3,500 to your down payment fund. The biggest single saving suggested may be too much for some though, moving back home with parents or in-laws to save over $7000. Read the full story.
Your home, your rules - right?
For many homeowners, having saved hard for the down payment and bought their own little bit of Canada, there is a belief that it’s theirs to do with as they wish. The view has ignited a row in the Happy Valley-Goose Bay area, where the council has told residents that they cannot keep shipping containers on their land. The containers are a popular choice among homeowners as they provide better protection than a shed, but the council says they devalue the neighbourhood and need to go. Town planners say that as the containers do not comply with the National Building Code of Canada they cannot be used on residential property; some residents say they are being environmentally friendly by reusing the containers. The debate goes on. Read the full story.