Victoria’s hot housing market pushing out renters

Michael Stewart and his family are being pushed out of their rental unit after their landlords recently put the house up for sale.

When Michael Stewart moved his family to Victoria a year-and-a-half ago after being pushed out of the hot Vancouver housing market, he thought he could finally set up roots in the community.

Now, the family is being plagued with the same problem here in Victoria. They are being pushed out of their rental unit in the capital region after their landlords recently decided to put the house up for sale.

Stewart first moved to Victoria with his wife and two young children a year-and-a-half ago in search of more affordable housing.

After roughly a month of searching for a place to live, and answering dozens of ads and never hearing back, he stumbled across a three-bedroom rental unit  in Gordon Head.

It was an attractive property for the young family since it was located along a quiet street, offered enough space for his children to have their own rooms, a backyard to play in and was close to his partner’s work and city parks.

So they moved in with the intent of staying there long-term and building a life. The family’s home is now lined with their children’s artwork and streaks of marker. Stewart even installed a vegetable garden, a raspberry trellis and several fruit bushes in the backyard.

However, two weeks ago, the family received a letter notifying him the landlord put the house up for sale.

Stewart said he was disappointed, frustrated and demoralized.

“There doesn’t seem to be an end to this cycle. We were pushed out of one city and into another one and maybe naively thought it was going to stop here, but it isn’t going to stop,” he said, adding they’re worried it will continue to happen in the next place they live as well.

“We really wanted to put down roots and start interacting with community, but it’s almost impossible when you don’t know where you’re going to live in two years.”

Once new owners take over the property, they have a 60-day notice period to evict Stewart if they choose, leaving the family in limbo.

It’s a trend that Victoria Coun. Jeremy Loveday said is a growing issue that has affected some of his friends as well.

While real estate housing prices falls under provincial jurisdiction, Loveday said the city intends on advocating for more affordable housing.

“It’s definitely something we need to look at and figure out what action we can take and what’s working in other cities and see if that applies here,” he said.

As for Stewart, he isn’t holding out hope that they’ll be able to stay in their current place.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Struggling to afford rent, Sylvia Bailey is hoping to trade her love of cooking for some more affordable accommodation. (Photo courtesy of Sylvia Bailey)
Retired Victoria woman looking to cook, clean or garden in exchange for rent

Sylvia Bailey is hoping to use her love for cooking to help afford rent

Victoria police are searching for a suspect after a stabbing Monday night. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria police searching for suspect in late-night stabbing

Victim taken to hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries

The drive-through COVID-19 testing facility at the Saanich Peninsula Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Island Health opens COVID-19 testing site at UVic

As with all other sites, an appointment is needed to receive a test

Thousands filled Centennial Square in June for the peace rally for Black lives, sparked by outrage over the death of George Floyd in the U.S. (Black Press Media file photo)
Survey seeks input on racism in Greater Victoria

Confidential answers to inform work with immigrants and marginalized people

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan Bui (left) and Kairry Nguyen at the end of the trial that found Tanessa Nikirk guilty of dangerous driving causing bodily harm. Nikirk is back in court for her sentencing hearing. (Black Press file photo)
UPDATED: Court hears letter from driver convicted of hitting Saanich girl

Leila Bui has been in a non-responsive state since she was hit in 2017

Carolyn and Steve Touhey came across a pod of humpback whales while on their boat Sunday, Oct. 25. Photo supplied
VIDEO: Boaters encounter pod of humpbacks in Georgia Strait

Pod spotted between Comox and Texada Island

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

The voting station mimicked a real voting station in Nicole Choi’s classroom at Chilliwack middle school on Oct. 22, 2020, where students had to show their ID (student cards), be checked off a list, and mark a secret ballot behind a screen. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. students choose NDP majority in mock election

More than 90,000 youth took part in school-based election process

Crew transport bus at the Trans Mountain pipeline project work site in Burnaby, March 2020. (Trans Mountain)
Check your workplace COVID-19 safety plans, Dr. Henry urges

Masks in public spaces, distance in lunchrooms for winter

B.C.’s Court of Appeal is in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Judgment reserved in Surrey Six slayings appeals

Six men were killed in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

Kelowna City Hall has been vandalized overnight. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna City Hall hit by anti-pandemic vandalism

Graffiti condemning the virus appears overnight on City Hall

FILE – A woman smokes a marijuana joint at a “Wake and Bake” legalized marijuana event in Toronto on October 17, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Christopher Katsarov
Home nurse visits could play big role in reducing cannabis use, smoking in young mothers

The program, dubbed the BC Healthy Connections Project, involves public health nursing home visits

Candice Woloshyn prepares her flower beds for the next season at her ‘Dirty Girl Flowers’ farm in Merville. Despite the pandemic, Woloshyn was able to sustain her homegrown business as community members opted for regular deliveries of fresh cut flowers. Photo by Binny Paul/ Campbell River Mirror.
Vancouver Island flower farmers were blooming as the pandemic wilted everything else

Floriculturists saw increased subscriptions as fresh flowers became a ‘sight for sore eyes’ during isolation

Most Read