What does $560 get you in the DTES?
Red flags are being raised over the rising cost of rent in the Downtown Eastside's SROs.Here's what $560 a month will get you.FULL STORY: http://www.cknw.com/2016/03/21/group-sounding-alarm-over-rising-rent-rates-in-downtown-eastside/Posted by News Talk 980 CKNW on Monday, March 21, 2016
The Carnegie Community Action project is sounding the alarm over rising rent rates in the Downtown Eastside, which the group says is averaging at $500 or more.
But what kind of a home will that get you?
For $560 a month, you get a 100-square foot room, a little more than a typical walk-in closet.
LISTEN: CKNW’s Matt Lee breaks down rising rents in the DTES
Click to see inside David Beattie’s SRO room
But for David Beattie, it’s home, saying it’s not bad compared to other SROs.
“I bring friends from other SRO’s here and they’re ‘Wow, I wish I could get in here’.”
“…the building is plagued with bed bugs. I use Pine Sol, I spray Deet on my body to prevent them from biting me.”
He agrees $560 is a lot, especially with the welfare rate of $610 dollars a month.
“It’s just another example of how bizarre this city has become…I was living in a shelter, and this was one of the better deals that was going.”
Despite all that, Beattie says he’s lucky, but knows something needs to be done to address the issue.
Meanwhile, advocates have their fingers crossed the Trudeau government will be dedicated a large chunk of change for the creation of more social housing in B.C. when the federal budget comes out tomorrow.
Thom Armstrong with the Co-op Housing Federation of B-C is optimistic there will be some good news.
“We got so many strong signals during the federal election campaign that the federal government would re-invest in housing and we think that’s exactly what’s going to happen.”
Armstrong says for the first time it appears municipal, provincial, and federal governments all seem ready to put pen to paper.
“This is really unprecedented because all three levels of government need to be part of the solution to the affordable housing crisis and it seems like we might be on the verge of that actually happening.”
He says just to meet market demand, B.C. needs 80,000 units of new rental housing within the next five years, almost one-third of which need to be subsidized for households that can’t afford market rents.
With files from Simon Little