Thursday, August 09, 2007

It Isn't Just the Real Estate BUYER Market

Looking at rentals, there seem to be many people out there that share my concern over the affordability in Saskatoon housing.

When rental units are listed at $1200/month for a 1-bedroom place - who are they marketing to? Students? Hardly.

Here's a CBCnews article about this:

Saskatoon housing crunch putting squeeze on students

With school starting in about a month, thousands of post-secondary students heading to Saskatoon are having to deal with a rental housing crunch.

"Our housing registry is two pages long; the people that need housing is eight pages long," said James Pepler, president of the University of Saskatchewan's student union.

"This doesn't include international students who are coming from overseas, who come here and find out they have nowhere to live."

Saskatoon's red-hot housing market in recent months has meant skyrocketing purchase prices and booming sales. On the rental side, some people have been hit with double-digit increases.

Pepler said something needs to be done soon to find more affordable housing for students.

Across town at the Kelsey campus of the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology, things aren't any better.

Loans don't cover rent costs: student groups

Brittany Holderness, president of the Kelsey student association, said several members of her executive can't find apartments and are storing their possessions at her place.

Holderness said she plans to track the situation.

"One of the projects we're hopefully going to be working on in the fall is actually get students to list what they're actually paying in rent, if they're having trouble, what the general outline of their budget is," she said.

Both groups said student loans haven't accommodated sharp rises in rent either. Pepler said the student union plans to hold a tent city rally at the university this fall to draw attention to the housing problem.

Earlier this week, dozens of people camped out in a Saskatoon park to protest the lack of affordable rental housing for low-income and working people. has a similar article (click to read it, although I think I should still be mad at Macleans for their "Lawyers are Rats" debacle).

As does the StarPhoenix, published this morning, by Lori Coolican (most detailed account - read this one if you're going to read any of them).

Not only is this entirely scary, I wonder how long this can last. Those of us looking to buy a house are being thwarted (expensive, offer presentations as opposed to classical bidding, people paying WAY over list price), those of us looking to rent won't be able to afford it/won't find any available? Seems like a dicey situation.

Sustainability should be a word at the front of everyone's mind (well ... those that live in Saskatoon for sure ... for others, I suppose, it wouldn't hurt ... well ... as long as we don't get our wires crossed and start debating about being "green", since that's a discussion that I don't want to get into ... today, anyway).


Kate said...

I'm very scared I wont be able to find a place to rent is Saskatoon! Jared and I were looking at buying but we've changed our minds and are going to buy in Vancouver instead, it's just too crazy there :(

Lisa Hutch said...

I know! It's the kind of crazy that, while I can see some benefits for Saskatoon, really might make things difficult in the long run.

Hopefully we'll find somewhere to live ... AHAHAHAHAHA ... that's funny because it's not a joke!!!