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

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

Staff and volunteers at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea were disappointed by the theft of an educational porpoise skull likely taken on Jan. 8. (Courtesy of Tina Kelly)
Well-loved porpoise skull stolen from Sidney aquarium

Skull had been used for youth and visitor education and outreach for years

The Starbucks in Langford’s Westshore Town Centre is one of almost 300 storefronts that the U.S. coffee giant will be shutting across Canada by the end of March. (Google Maps)
Langford’s Westshore Town Centre Starbucks to close permanently

Popular coffee chain to close 300 storefronts across Canada by end of March

An Oak Bay Police officer handed out five tickets for “fail to obey stop sign” and two tickets for using a cell phone while driving, all within two hours at King George Terrace on Jan. 11. (Oak Bay Police Twitter)
Man confronts unmasked group at Oak Bay Marina

Oak Bay police issue plenty of tickets in short King George Terrace visit

A 45-metre tall call tower is proposed for Westhills Stadium. (Black Press Media file photo)
New cell tower proposed for Westhills Stadium in Langford

Tower will increase capacity in congested network: staff report

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Canada released proposed regulations Jan. 2 for the fisheries minister to maintain Canada’s major fish stocks at sustainable levels and recover those at risk. (File photo)
New laws would cement DFO accountability to depleted fish stocks

Three B.C. salmon stocks first in line for priority attention under proposed regulations

Trees destroyed a Shoreacres home during a wind storm Jan. 13, 2021. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay woman flees just before tree crushes house

Pamala DeRosa is thankful to be alive

Gin, one of the Kantymirs’ two sheep. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
Sheep start up ATV, sit in cars and go for walks in Salmon Arm

Until they bought two sheep, Ken and Karleen Kantymir didin’t realize just how social the animals are

Most Read