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Posted: July 10, 2021

A real life look into the housing crisis

Letter to the Editor

The following letter was sent to Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka, Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok and City of Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick.

I just wanted to send you gentlemen an email with some real-life info about the housing crisis here in Kimberley and Cranbrook.

We found out 13 days ago that the house we have lived in for almost nine years is being sold by the owner. We had no warning. I know about the tenant rights and all that stuff and the fact that “most” homebuyers keep tenants — but there is no way we will be able to stay because at the price the house is listed for the rent could not be what we have been paying to actually pay the mortgage (twice as much as when it was bought 10 years ago).

Currently in Kimberley there are very few rentals available, even less if you need more than two bedrooms, want a yard or have pets like we do.

There is a two-bedroom apartment on Norton that is listed for $2,200/month.  I had friends who lived in that apartment building a few years ago and paid $600. There is a main floor of a house in Cranbrook for rent for $2,500/month. If you are only supposed to spend 30% of your monthly income on housing that means I would have to bring in $7,500 a month to afford that house. Who brings home $7,500/month as a single parent? That’s $46/hr gross wage.

I am a newly single mom with two teens. Instead of being care-free teens they will both have to have jobs and contribute to household expenses if we have any hope of not being homeless at the end of September.  This will be in addition to their responsibilities as they finish off high school. Just to pay for rent.

This crisis is real.  Who can afford a $400k or $500k home as their first home?  What is going to happen to the next generation of children who graduate and get a job for $20/hr (hopefully).  They won’t be able to afford to live.

What happens to my family when our house sells and we are given two months to move out? We will likely end up in an RV.  I know I am not the only one in this position. We need to stop this insanity before it gets more out of control.

Please consider intervening.  Something has to be done.

Daleen Bybee,

Kimberley


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