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Episode Info:

On today’s show we’re going to do a deep dive into a city consultation process as they grapple with the question of how to manage what is perceived as a problem with affordable housing in our city. To that end, they’re holding a number of public consultations including a public survey.

Over the course of this past year, the City has met with and received input from multiple community and business organizations to discuss rental housing regulations.

The purpose of going into this much detail is for you the listener to become involved in your own municipal consultations and for you to recognize that you have a voice.

Tenants have shared a range of experiences related to housing quality, from very poor to excellent. While there is significant support within the community for a licensing/registration system for rental housing, the majority of tenants do not support these measures. In approximately 9 out of 10 cases, landlords make repairs when required and there is concern about the increased rental costs that would result from licensing and inspection fees.

However, when problems do occur, both tenants and neighbours want to see a more robust response from the City. There is strong support for proactive enforcement as well as enforcement targeted towards properties with a history of violations.

From landlords and the real estate industry, the city has heard that over-regulation will deter new construction and could also result in current units being taken off the market. This will likely result in higher rents and more residents living in unaffordable housing. However, it is important to note that the majority of landlords and tenants both agree that enforcement should target specific problems when they occur rather than taking a broad “one size fits all” regulatory approach.

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