A downtown Victoria resident who lives in a designated low-income rental unit is speaking out after being quoted $378 for a single parking space in the building.
Parking rates are a contentious topic in Victoria, with the city recently raising its rates just to park on the streets in an effort to raise revenues.
With few if any street parking spaces available downtown, area residents pay a range of fees for spots in their rental or strata buildings. Black Press Media polled several Victoria property management companies about the fees charged and they ranged from as low as $40 a month for a single stall to $200.
But Kass Lima – a downtown Victoria resident – was quoted a whopping $378 for a single space in her rental building.
And she lives in a designated low-income rental unit in The Dalmation at the corner of Johnson Street and Cook Street.
“It’s outrageous and really hard to fathom how any company/organization can charge that much in parking fees at a mostly low-income building,” Lima said. “It’s not helping anyone.”
Lima supplied copies of emails she received from Robbins Parking Service to rent a space in The Dalmation, a mixed-use development that consists of 130 units of “affordable housing” that is owned and operated by Pacifica Housing. The building includes purpose-built subsidized, low-end market and market units. (Pacifica Housing didn’t respond to an email request by Black Press Media for comment at its tenant services address.)
Lima works full time, cares for her toddler and her partner who is disabled. They need a vehicle. Being accepted for a low-income rental seemed to be the solution for the family, but the parking fee has complicated their situation.
“We thought we would finally be able to get ahead and save money with the extra bit of income we can keep due to having much lower rent,” Lima said. “However, once we were notified of the parking costs, we are actually now spending more money per month to live here than we were previously.”
Lima said she doesn’t expect anything to change by speaking out – she has been told there is no way to lower the parking fee – but she was hoping to raise awareness.
“I just think if more people were aware of this, there may be more outrage which might incite change,” Lima said. “I just know those of us who are in the low-income bracket are running out of options and desperation is around the corner.”