It’s been just over a year since the #don’thave1million Twitter campaign was launched by Eveline Xia to raise awareness about the difficulty many young, middle class Vancouverites were having when it came to buying a house.
In an interview with Simi Sara last year, Xia said she was galvanized to action when she heard the story of a young doctor who couldn’t afford to raise a family in Vancouver because of housing prices.
At that time, the benchmark price for a single-family detached home was hovering at one million dollars.
Xia’s hashtag went viral and became a movement, with many people sharing personal situations to highlight their frustration in an increasingly unaffordable housing market.
#DontHave1Million former professional athlete, MA Kinesiology, Youth Programer, Coach, yoga teacher, 3rd generation Vancouverite— Andrew Clements (@Pranatricks) April 17, 2015
Feeling the squeeze: Vancouver’s rental market
A year later, Vancouver has been inundated with story after story about home prices rising 30 per cent in the past year, bidding wars for single-detached homes, and house sales closing at tens of thousands of dollars over the asking price.
Meanwhile, the only downward trend when it comes to housing in Vancouver appears to be the rental vacancy rate.
According to CMHC, the vacancy rate in Fall 2015 was less than 1%, down from 1.8% in Spring 2015, and 1.5% in October 2014.
So according to the law of supply and demand, it’s no surprise that rents have begun to climb as well, with the average rent for a two-bedroom increasing by 3.7% from October 2014 to October 2015.
$2250 for a two bedroom basement suite anyone?
Now, a new social media campaign is gaining traction.
The Twitter account @dearYVRLandlord highlights the absurdity of the rental market in Vancouver. It was launched by Cass Sclauzero last year after she was evicted from her rental home when her landlords decided to move back in.
In an interview with Global BC, Sclauzero says her search on Craigslist was so frustrating she decided to share her findings on social media.
Posting screenshots of Craigslist ads with witty comments that lampoon everything from the price to the description to the photos posted, her Twitter account now has more than 1800 followers.