Joshua Ogden, the teacher who raised the issue of a housing and rental shortage in Kyuquot was able to buy a property on Walters Island after the Mirror reported the issue.
In July, Ogden and fellow community members had spoken about not being able to get mortgages for properties that are in non-service areas or far from fire safety services.
In August, Ogden and his family were able to buy a home, through “generous financing” provided by people they know and by Thanksgiving they moved into their new home.
“There had been nothing on the real estate market in Kyuquot for years. In the weeks following the publication of the story, two properties became available, and we were able to negotiate a purchase with one of the sellers,” said Ogden.
A teacher with school district 84, Ogden had said earlier that the housing problem was indirectly affecting education in Kyuquot.
“The job security for teachers here continues to be good but housing is such a problem, which is contributing to the severe teacher turnover our village is in the midst of this year,” he said.
Living in this remote town on the west coast of Vancouver Island can be an isolating experience as the town is busy only during summer when people come to enjoy their holiday homes or the fishing resorts. The teacherages are located in reserve land in Houpsitas and families that want to enjoy the scenic views of Kyuquot find it difficult to get a rental property there.
“We feel more settled in Kyuquot now that we have our own home here. We never had plans to leave but now we know we can live here for years,” said Ogden.
The “housing situation” in Kyuquot still needs to improve, Ogden said, and the availability of mortgages in Kyuquot still remains an “impossibility” for many local buyers.
“Unfortunately, besides our own purchase, the housing situation in Kyuquot remains much as it was. As far as I know, the other property that was for sale was taken off the market; and there remains no prospect for properties to rent or purchase on Walters Island.”
He has urged the new North Island MLA, Michele Babchuk, and others to consider including communities like Kyuquot within the scope of the Speculation and Vacancy Tax.
“That would encourage owners of vacant properties to make their homes available.”
Ogden is also requesting North Island- Powell River MP Rachel Blaney and the other MPs in the province to consider a federal program that would allow those looking to purchase a principal residence in communities like Kyuquot to access an insured mortgage.
“Our family is blessed, and we’re not taking it for granted. For those wishing to purchase a home in Kyuquot, the unavailability of financing continues to be a major barrier.”