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CONTRIBUTION · 18th March 2013
The rental rate is at 0%. Rental costs have risen to an exorbitant amount.

This is not an issue for people who can afford to pay $1200 + a month; for those who have the time and skill to work for enough money to pay that; for those who have necessary resources. Lucky you!

Unfortunately, for single mothers and fathers, one income families, people with disabilities, mental health and addictions, students, women and men fleeing abusive relationships, as well as myself, someone with a college diploma and a good paying administration job and no children, we find it a challenge to pay that much.

We are not living in Vancouver; we are in Terrace and Kitimat. We should not pay rent that is 1.5, 2, 3 times the owner's mortgage. It is not fair.

It is not ethical. And it is not possible.

The City of Terrace and Kitimat Councillors, as well as the organizations who are triggering the growth, need to consider a solution to this problem. Otherwise, homelessness will rise, residents will move, and the area will be left with short-medium term workers who will also leave the area once the expansions are complete.

Who will be left? Who will stay to work at Walmart, stores in the mall, restaurants, etc?
Short sighted
Comment by Harold on 3rd April 2013
People that are so short sighted never see the picture from every view . We have Mr. Ippel comparing hiring minorities and quality of policing. Mr. Ippel not all the population is white and that is why the RCMP hires those un qualified minorities to be police officer. You have to re- present and serve the population according to the population. Also for the hiring around the region on projects maybe a certain color have been left out could be true. But lets look at it deeper then color. Majority of these projects are situated on first nation territories and for these projects to get the green light there has to be incentive for them to have these projects in there territory. That incentive might be money, business opportunity and employment. Yes there is clauses in contracts that stipulate that employment opportunity should be given to first nation but that is only a certain percent. yes they might not be the most qualified but that is why they are there to be trained in a trade which they can use far after the projects are done not just being a labour. This comment is written from a person that see's no color but for people for who they are and until we all can do that we will never be a successful society .
Comment by James Ippel on 2nd April 2013
An extremeley well written comment. Do you recall a few years ago when BC Hydro was looking for apprentices? " Whites need not apply" Do you remember the days of "Afirmative Hiring", where unqualified minorities were hired over qualified whites to fill a quota? The RCMP were a prime example of this, and look where they are today.
It is time we take back control, hire the qualified people to do the job. Everyone has the same opportunity to better themselves, all they have to do is apply themselves to improve themselves.
Screw this minority quota system.

To Eric Re: Pure Greed
Comment by Nicole on 28th March 2013
When you are finally able to afford your home home, you will see just how much you are financially responsible for...roof repairs, furnace maintenance, paint, lawn, plumbing, insurance etc...not to mention yearly taxes. For a home owner to rent their home, they must consider all this in the amount they choose to rent the home for...because when something breaks you can bet your a$$ the tenant is not going to pay for those repairs, (not to mention the damage that may be done by the renter ie. carpet/flooring damage, holes in the walls, pets etc) the Home owner is. Where exactly do you think that money should come from? The smart choice is to charge more than your mortgage t0 cover those "rainy day" expenses in the future.

For you, I suggest you figure out your Needs Vs Wants and live accordingly until you too are one day able to own your home, I wish you success as it truly is the best feeling, but remember YOU will be responsible for the maintenance, up keeping and general repairs NOT the landlord.
Comment by Mark on 25th March 2013
Would you work for free? Well I am sure we all know the answer. Unfortunately it is tough to find
more affordable rent but the area has been on the low side for a long time. Maintenance, taxes, chasing renters for payment all costs money so all of a sudden oops hole in the wall or oops my child broke a light fixture, assesments go up 10% then poof landlords have to pick it up. And sorry Eric but for someone who is highly educated why the name calling...holey! An opinion can always be put out there but look outside the box. Also I Agree with the needs and wants....smoking and alcohol...eating out and I sadly say a pet owner, pets, all make affording a bit higher rent tougher... We all make choices and some need sacrafice don't you think? Its just the start get used to it we all have to figure it out!
i agree
Comment by Andreena on 24th March 2013
As someone who has recently graduated and turned 19 I have been looking for an affordable place for about 4 months now, i fully agree with this. It is absolutely ridiculous trying to find a place here especially when you have 2 teenagers with you who are just finishing school. No one wants to rent to teenagers because they have this stereotypical view on how we are, not all teenagers are raging alcoholic partiers in this town a lot of us are actually really responsible when it comes to things like this.
Overthinking it
Comment by JL on 22nd March 2013
This thread is hilarious. No one takes accountability for their situations. It is not their fault they make a small amount of income or can't find a job. Now we have comments about race. Blah blah blah. If you want something bad enough then you will work for it. If you have some training and make 10 an hour and can't find a better job then perhaps you should take relevant courses or get a degree in needed field to make your desired income. No one is going to spoonfeed you in life. Until you are employable with needed education you will not be paid well... it is pretty straight forward. Get a roomate and make your rent bill cut in half. But in the meantime blame the landlords because regardless, their houses will stay jam packed so they don't really care. real world is tough, huh!?
Boomtown results depends on color of skin...
Comment by maggiejo johnson on 21st March 2013
Jeremy. In response to your legitimate request for an explanation:

I am tiring of comments stating that potential rentors just need to pull up their socks to secure employment during this 'boom' as there are good paying jobs everywhere...and that as such, people should be able to save enough money to afford an outrageous amount of money for rent...or for a down payment on a home.

Sure there's a boom going on. Right?

Well, not for my young son. He was born and raised here and is an extremely ethical worker and has secured a long and impressive list of tickets under his belt - from First Aid to Auto Tech to High Angled Tower Rescue, etc etc. Too many tickets to mention, let alone his work experience including labourer, production worker, Telecommunications/manufacturing installations. He moved back to BC from Alberta to move closer to home while applying for the boomtown jobs. He was/is fairly dissapointed that he still hasn't secured employment!

He ALMOST secured a job with one of the boom town Employers...but after he was offered the job and went in to complete the paperwork...the big head honcho realized he was a white boy and my son had to embarassingly stand there listening to the two bigwigs arguing about whether to hire him or he was of fair skin and not of First Nations descent. Really? No. Seriously. Really??!?!?!?!?!!! While my son was standing fellow arguingly insisted on hiring my son; the other, while agreeing that my son would be an extreme asset to his team, was adamant not to hire him, as again...he was a White Boy. As such...this 'white boy' remains unemployed - pulling temporary jobs here and there while not spending for 'wants vs needs'. He performs labour duties for his Landlord in efforts to decrease his shared accomodation rental suite costs.

So, according to my take on this...most of the rental requests must be coming from the White I'm sure by now that many First Nations should be well on their way to owning their own homes with those wicked salaries from the boomtown employers who pay well over $30/hr - even for a rookie. Might as well act like the South in the past by putting up a sign in the Employer's window: "Hiring. Whites only" by now posting a sign up: "Hiring. No Whites please". I dare them to post that signage up, as that is what is occuring.

Have we really progressed as a human race since the days of the South? I don't think so.
Comment by Jeremy D on 21st March 2013
Can anyone please explain to me as to where the tremendous demand is coming from? Are these trades students, construction workers from Kitimat projects, etc.

If anyone can give me an idea of precisely who and what is fueling the great demand it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Needs vs Wants
Comment by Harold on 21st March 2013
The rule of thumb is you should spend 30% of total income on housing. In Terrace that only holds true if you own your own home. If you rent you are spending between 40% to 60% of total income. So you probably know what I am getting at. Most people don't know the difference between a want and a need. If you are struggling to afford housing stick to just your needs and overtime save enough money that you can afford your own home. The reality is where just starting the boom phase and where having this many problems wait another 1 or 2 years you will never be able to afford a rental more like a room in someone's house for like $900.00 a month. With a boom comes opportunity for all so take advantage not just high income earners plus lower income earners as well take advantage it.
Not Ludacris at all.
Comment by anonymous on 20th March 2013
People that own rental properties need to make somewhat of a profit otherwise it isn't worth their time. Im not going to pay for something for someone else every month and either lose money or barely break even. Its called an investment for a reason. Asking 2 times the mortgage is not ludacris at all. You have repairs you have taxes, the list goes on and on and on. I agree that for some people the rates right now are unaffordable and it is hard to get ahead, but you cant expect someone to lay down and take a hit for you. Because I sure as hell wont.
pure greed
Comment by eric on 20th March 2013
The rental prices around are pure greed.
I am well educated, have a good job and am the sole provider for my family, we are currently renting and looking to buy, however this rental market is crippling us from coming up with a decent downn payment.

Just because one can charge a price and get it does not mean that is ethical or sustainable.

To the moron who commented that you should just get a better job etc etc. You sir or madam are exactly that, a short sighted moron.

It is those who work the hardest at the jobs you would not do who are going to suffer the hardest. Persons like yourself really do need to pull your heads out of your butt's and too a good look at what is going on here.

These rental increases and real estate prices are based purely on speculation and could fall flat in the coming months.

If there was all this money to go around no one would be taking issue.
Council Follies
Comment by Joe B on 19th March 2013
I find it infuriating that Ms Tyers proudly announces here that R1 zones now allow suites yet our Clown Council turns down a subdivision on the Bench (AGAINST the Official Community Plan) that would have allowed suites in new homes. Yes the city can't force people to put in suites but stagnating new residential construction and allowing only one developer to have vacant lots to sell is ridiculous.
And annabella
Comment by Stacey Tyers on 19th March 2013
Please see my other comment. Making assumptions about people is grossly ineffective and unnecessary.
what we can do
Comment by stacey tyers on 19th March 2013
we have recently adopted a bylaw in rr1 zones to allow detached suites. we have recently adopted bylaws to allow secondary suites in r1 zones. we are currently working on standards of maintenence bylaws to ensure all rentals are safe.

The city has an appointed housing committee. to look at different ways to address the issue. no current governments are putting money into building housing.

I personally discuss the crisis of housing with every person possible. As do other councillor.

what we can not do, is make people build them. It is still a choice if someone wants to build rental housing. we as a city simply do not have the funds to get into developing housing.

I do suggest people continue to make their concerns public. As I have been warning about this for quite some time.

There are also many costs related to rental housing and one bad tenant can set your Investments back 5year.

There are also some excellent tenants who simply can't afford 1200 a month. I am one of them so JL thank you for implying that I have not worked hard enough or sacrificed enough, so too bad for me. that kind of generalization and stereotyping is part of the greater problem.
Renting prices.
Comment by JL on 19th March 2013
Why is it that Terrace people think landlords are ripping people off? If rent should be soooOOOOoo affordable then you individuals with an issue go out, you get approved for half a million dollars or more to buy some units and you rent them for a super affordable price so that you barely break even and everyone in Terrace is happy. Oh don't forget when something breaks you are paying the bill. Oh the insurance, property tax, maintenance, etc etc as well... No you say!!!? Didn't think so... It is supply and demand. Demand is high, rent is high. This is the real world people. If rent is too high for you then get a roommate. People with investments work extremely hard to get themselves in this position and have made huge sacrifices earlier in their lives to afford the things they now have. Myself included. Sacrifices that many who whine about rent prices have not made. Giving away rent for next to nothing is a really silly thing to expect.
City council is well-aware of this problem
Comment by Karen on 19th March 2013
Thank you Maggiejo for your response to Annabella. You saved me the effort of commenting on her uneducated and insensitive submission.

The problem of rental shortages in Terrace has been a growing one for well over a year. City council is aware of it and has half-heartedly considered options but in my opinion has not moved fast enough.

One solution that I understand has been considered is allowing homeowners to convert their garages into rental spaces. As I heard about this suggestion well over a year ago I wonder why it has not been implimented. Is it because out city council is too busy catering to business interests? It seems to me that this would be an oppostunity to make work, increase tax revenue and partly solve the rental shortage. Perhaps NWCC could involve some of their shop students in a project or two as well.

I sympathize with the writer of this article but I do not believe the solution involves denegrating and blaming landlords. Take your concerns to city hall. They hold meetings every first and third Monday. Gather other people who are having similar problems, they are easy to find, and register at city hall to be able to speak at the next council meeting. Be prepared with a statement, arrive with those who are as concerned, and let our city council know, in person, that something must be done.

Good luck!
Mobile Home
Comment by Steve on 19th March 2013
When I lived in Terrace I was frustrated with rentals as well. The best decision I made was buying a mobile home. Our mortgage payment and pad rental combined was under $400/m. We were saving so much money it was ridiculous and with some smart renovations our place was clean and comfortable. When we moved, we sold the place and made over 30% on our investment walking away with enough cash for the down payment on our house.

This was only 4 years ago, and now you are more likely to pay $30,000 for a mobile in a park, but at least you are paying into something that you will one day own.
The 'fix it' is already here....
Comment by maggiejo johnson on 18th March 2013
Richard. The 'fix it' is already in our midst!

What is the motivation to become a Landlord?

Well....let me tell you about a Landlord that I know!

He is a NAZI (in good ways) in maintaining his units and grounds to the TEE; while strongly encouraging neighbourly engagement while spending thousands of dollars per unit/year to ensure every apartment is up to par.

In MY neighbourhood where I am surrounded by rental units....there was the struggling single Mother up the street who sent over a banana loaf the other night after I tended to her child....while the next day I sent over a cultural treat for her..while the other neighbor came over to ask for a glue gun for a school project...while the other asked for butter to make some KD, while I had some extra food and shared it with the teens in the unit up the way. We all share hand-me-downs with each other as we sit on our front lawns watching the children of ALL colors playing together while shrieking about in delight! Why? Because ONE LANDLORD takes the time to treat his tennants with utmost respect while challenging them to do the same back. He encourages all of his tennants to pull neighbourly engagement with everyone on the block. They ALL respect him and as a result... all of his apartments are of impeccable form.

Often people question me why I won't leave the South Side since I have paid off my home's mortgage while still choosing to live amongst these tennants. My response...."Why on EARTH would I want to live in the 'ritsy' part of town, as according to don't even know your neighbor's NAME!"

Sudden silence.
Why not fixit
Comment by R1chard Jenn1ss on 18th March 2013

Lack of places to rent... So lets fix it.

One way to fix it:
Someone gets a mortgage, or a second mortgage. Lets say this person is you. You are now going to commit to the bank for 25 years. Quite the difference from renting month-to-month. 25 years... A lot can happen in 25 years... If you can't make your payments you lose. Even if the place is half-paid, if the future economy in 10 years tanks and you can't make the payments.... you lose.

Now take that 25 year commitment and put that asset in someones hands who wants to rent on a month to month term and thinks it's unfair for the amount your charging. risky? It can be.

Now, look at Terrace, the rental situation and then ask What is the motivation to become a landlord?

If one is to judge...know what you're judging.
Comment by maggiejo johnson on 18th March 2013
Annabella....your contributory comment was one of the most insensitive, judgemental contributions I have read in a long time.

I am tiring of coming to the dreadful realization that there are so many in our Community who broadbrush people in one single stroke - and apparently, you have self-proclaimed yourself as one of them according to your response to this article.

One of my galpals holds down a full-time very, very well paid job with impeccable references and reputation...and absolutey STRUGGLED to secure a rental accommodation in Terrace.

And in all honesty? I am disgusted with the Slum Lords in this town who take advantage of the less fortunate by plunking bodies into an apartment that most (including you) would deem in need of being condemned. And then there are the HONEST LandLords who repeatedly upgrade their apartments and encourage community neighbourly spirit and accountability from those who rent from them. Obviously, the latter LandLords' dwellings are full on a long-term basis with rarely any turn-overs. Gee, no kidding.

In comparison, it appears we aren't too far from Vancouver residents who are aging and yet have to own a home; let alone rent one. The Cost of Living in Terrace continues to increase; while the salary rarely does. I invite you to sit back and take a read at this one, in the event you missed it:
Everything's gone up!
Comment by Richard on 18th March 2013
The economy is booming and with that comes higher rent prices. Some may not like it, but that is how the real estate market works and always has.

Housing prices have also went up, why wouldn't rental prices? Gas has went up, electricity has went up, everything has went up. It is perfectly fair that rentals have also went up, think about it for a minute.
Rentals in Terrace
Comment by Harold on 18th March 2013
Let's look at the economics of renting. The mid 90's and most of 2000's the Terrace area was in a economic depression so you could find abundant of cheap rentals.

In that time frame rentals where going below what it costs its owner. The owners had no choice because supply outstripped demand. Most owners where not being to particular in who they where renting to so most properties fell into state of crap.

Then the question why has there not been any new housing development? Simple there is no money in it not until we hit a secure boom economy that we will see housing developments.

Second question price of rentals? Currently we are seeing prices from $800 to $1800 depending on what we are renting. That is not a very high price to pay for a rental if you compare the numbers with other cities that are on the upswing.

The owners cost on the house that he is renting including mortgage, property taxes, and insurance are around $800 to $1300 dollars all dependent on the property.

So there is not much money the property owner is making for his investment. If the rental rate is higher than the mortgage buy a house if the rental rate is cheaper then a mortgage rent a house its that simple.

Living with roommates is not a bad option if your running into prices that are not affordable. Also out of curiosity what do people thing is a reasonable rental rate ?
This is Crazy
Comment by B on 18th March 2013
We are a young family. Const. of myself 25, my significant other 23, and our Chihuahua which we have had for over 7 years.

I have a full time job and my significant other is a college student at the moment. Because we have a dog and we are unable to afford to pay $1500 for rent we cannot find a place to stay.

We are suffering for other peoples mistakes. No one will rent to us because of our dog, yet here they are renting to people who trash their house. It is very frustrating being unable to find a home.

We are not partier's, and we are very respectful of others, yet here we are suffering for disrespectful people who have cause house owners to not want to rent to people who have animals. We are going to become homeless because my job doesn't allow me to afford $1500 rent. Its sad.
Why is Terrace creating new jobs when there is no rentals?
Comment by Bobby on 18th March 2013
Why is Terrace creating new jobs for people who must move here to live and work when this town has almost absolutely no rentals?

Why are there no new accommodations being built? Watch this town's greed swell, one would think there would be some construction happening.

In reality, the town is in the process of driving away locals so that outsiders can come and take over the overpriced accommodations. Can anyone explain?
Re: Rental units and people complaining
Comment by Annabella on 18th March 2013
This is meant for the couple of people who think there is something wrong with Terrace because of the rental prices. Terrace is booming right now as we can all see, the rental prices are in comparison to every other city (cheaper actually).

If you don't like it, quit your minimum wage job, or get off of your welfare and go find yourself a decent job.

There are LOADS upon LOADS of well paying jobs around here right now. No one wants to rent to ungrateful, lazy tenants anyways. Save your money and buy a house, otherwise quit your complaining and start working for a living like the rest of us.