A solution to our housing crisis: letter


MP Rachel Blaney just sent out a mailer about the housing crisis in B.C. Here is my response:

I have kept this proposal very brief but it covers all the basis. Lots of room for discussion and improvement.

My Scenario:

I own a big house on 3/4 of an acre just outside of Campbell River. I would love to be able to build a tiny home on my property and rent it out as a mortgage helper. Because of the ridiculous regional district bylaws, I cannot do this. Yet, I have several friends who are desperately trying to find adequate rentals.

The Solution: The province passes legislation that allows homeowners to build tiny homes on their property. This legislation would trump any current zoning regulations set out by cities, towns and regional districts. I realize this would ruffle a lot of feathers for municipal politicians…too bad. There would be guidelines in place, the property would have to be a certain size, the infrastructure would have to be able to support additional population etc. This idea might not work in downtown Vancouver but it certainly would in 95 per cent of the province.

Part 2:

Homeowners would be able to borrow money from the government, interest free, to pay for their tiny home. But, with some conditions. If they want the interest-free loan, they have to purchase the home from the government.

There would be nine tiny home models to choose from. These homes would be constructed by people that are chronically unemployed, those with disabilities or mental health issues. It would be a make work project to get these people employed.

And, there would be a limit as to what the homeowner can rent out the tiny home for. Example, if the tiny home was $60,000 and the mortgage payment is $600 per month. The most the homeowner can charge for rent is $800 per month. Once they pay off the loan, they can charge whatever they want.

Part 3:

Many older residents who raised their family in big homes…no longer need big homes. But they like where they live and they want to keep their property. This would enable the older resident to build a tiny home that they live in and they can rent out their large house. This would help tens of thousands of seniors to enjoy a better quality of life with the additional monthly income.

This proposal would provide immediate help for renters that are being gouged throughout our province. It would help homeowners and it would provide far better use for land that is already developed throughout our province..

Note: When subdivisions are planned they are based on, two people per bedroom. For example, a three bedroom home, the infrastructure of sewer, electricity, etc. is based 6 people living full time in that home. How many people do you know that have six people living in one house?…..not many.

Russ Wagg

Campbell RiverHousing