July 5th, 2012
So who are the people looking for places to rent in Regina?
The rental vacancy rate is siting at 0.6 per cent after a year below the mark of zero. Meanwhile the average price per month of a one bedroom apartment is $948. The city has provided some incentives to add affordable rental units, but there are several people out there who just can’t afford to wait for builders to catch up.
Sharee Lejoure has an 18-month-old son but so far she and her boyfriend still don’t have a place for him to truly call home.
They have been looking for a place to live for about a year. Since then she said they have lived with her boyfriend’s parents on the reserve but now they are living with his cousin.
Her boyfriend works as a heavy machine operator in the city. At this point she said they will take almost anything to become independent because their current situation is too cramped with two families.
Lejoure describes the hunt for a place to live as very frustrating because sometimes she will get close only to be told by the renter that it’s too small for three or they don’t accept kids at all.
“How do you know if it’s too small,” she asked. “We can’t stay in a room living with somebody forever.”She hopes that someday there will be more low income rental units available for people who have young families and are having a hard time looking for a place.
With a booming population and people moving in to the city to fill the labour shortage this story is one of many. There are families of all sizes and incomes looking.
We searched through online wanted ads to find out more.
Some have families or pets and are looking for houses or apartments to in specific areas near schools or daycares.
One woman on facebook said she has been looking so long they’ve almost given up hope of finding an affordable place in the city to live with her families.
Victoria Bresette has been looking for a decent place to live for over two months.
So far Brisette says the pickings are very slim.
“We’ve basically found shotty places, places that are sketchy, bad neighbourhoods, border-line slum landlords,” she commented.
She has an apartment on 13th Avenue but worries that the building is not secure.
“None of the windows had locks on them you could pull the windows open from the outside, water leaks you know just old building problems,” she explained.
Brisette explains that she just can’t live in her current tiny apartment any more.
“We are entertaining the idea of buying a camper for the summer because there is nowhere to live we’re going to buy a camper and camp all summer,” she said.
Travis has been looking for somewhere to live since Februrary. He is staying in a basement suite right now but he says he needs to get out soon.
“I’m coming home my TV’s on my microwave’s open stuff like that so I know somebody’s there when I’m not there,” he explained.
At this point he says the rental market in Regina is ridiculous.
“You could have a 500 square foot bachelor suite and it could be going for $1500 a month easy,” Travis said.
He came from Manitoba and there they have regulations in place when it comes to rentals. In Regina he says the biggest problem he’s run into is price.
Most ads on sites like UsedRegina and Kijiji asking for rental apartments are looking for a price range of $900 to $1500 a month but the listings certainly don’t match up with them. The ads listing apartments are closer to the range of $1400 to $2200 a month.
If you have a story about trying to rent a place in Regina let us know on Facebook.