August 25, 2013
According to a report at ckom.com there is a big debate over changing the rooming house bylaw in Regina.
Population is on the rise in Regina and some say we even have a ‘housing crisis.’ It’s true more and more people are coming to find work.
The City of Regina offered 3 possible options to change a 21-year-old bylaw. This old bylaw saw landlords of rooming homes threatened with large fines and even jail time.
Almost 125 people attended a meeting at the Knox Metropolitan-United Church to share their views on how the altered bylaw should look.
Currently, rooming houses are defined as “a building that is the primary residence of the owner and in which rooming units are provided by the owner, for permanent occupancy and compensation, to persons not related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the owner.”
Although enforcement of this bylaw has typically been low, in May, the City sent letters out to many rooming house landlords stating that they could face large fines or even jail time if they didn’t force out their tenants or move out themselves.
But the debate on how the new bylaw should look has been hotly contested. On May 9th, the Whitmore Park Community Association held a meeting to discuss the bylaw. Many in attendance expressed frustration with rooming houses, claiming they eat up parking space, are unsafe and bring down property values due to excessive parties and garbage.
But for those on the other side of the issue, offering rental space helps to alleviate the housing crisis and allows for affordable housing for both the landlord and the tenants they rent to
Deputy manager of community planning Jason Carlston and a team of city officials offered three basic options that could help to clarify the bylaw and hopefully ease tensions. Each was based on research done on how five other municipalities—Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, London and Ottawa—handle the rooming houses.
#1 Less regulation
#2 Limit the number of boarders allowed in a rooming house which would also call for a required amount of parking stalls
#3 Stricter regulations
It’s a passionate subject and the debate hasn’t let us know. Let’s see how this works out. It’s great that a real debate is going on in our province over these types of issues. In other provinces like Ontario there’s little debate and only constant attacks on residential landlords.