A since-removed Craigslist ad for a “low-income” rental home in the City of Vancouver would have been available only for tenants who are earning more than twice the market’s average household income.
In a recent piece for the Vancouver Sun, columnist and markets observer Dan Fumano recounted the tale of a supposedly “affordable” three-bedroom rental suite in the West End – which would have cost a staggering $2,850 per month.
Understandably, this led to no small amount of dismay and horror among neighbours and those looking for a place to call home. The listing was removed early last week.
“There’s definitely been a policy shift, but I don’t know if council was informed of that policy shift,” resident Judy Graves told Fumano.
Graves previously worked for the city for more than three decades, and championed the rights of Vancouver’s homeless.
“I think most people who are on the current council would understand immediately the amount of outrage that will be experienced by people in Vancouver, when they realize they paid for social housing that is now being rented out for top dollar, and families are being screwed.”
Rubbing salt to the wound was that the ad came in close proximity to the city’s announcement of new housing developments that will address the needs of lower-income families.
“That housing is still a few years out [from being constructed and occupied], and in the meantime, you’re going to deplete the stock of non-market housing? “It’s un-freaking-believable,” Graves lamented.
Danny Laufer, who previously occupied the unit for seven years with his family, expressed hope for a new local owner after moving out in early 2019. Upon learning of the absurd price, he wrote to express his disappointment to every level of the local government, from Vancouver’s mayor all the way up to the BC Housing Minister.
The price madness is “taking away precious family housing that exists, and replacing it with market rate housing that is not geared to families,” he wrote.
“I just don’t get it,” Laufer told Fumano. “Everybody on council now ran on the platform of housing … What’s going on?”