Rent Caps in Alberta?

@breepeace (3024)
Canada
April 27, 2007 2:54pm CST
At lunch I'm reading this article in the Edmonton Journal about how an 86 year old Polish-immigrant grandmother just received a letter from her apartment complex's management company informing her that her rent on her one bedroom apartment will be increased from $675 to $1050 a month. Link to the article here http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=a4fe1614-06c6-43f5-b4fe-709258855a99&k=3569 This poor woman is already on a fixed income and is now being forced to spend almost her entire income on a place to live?? Sadly this is becoming the norm in Edmonton and Calgary. Boardwalk Properties, one of the largest property management companies in Canada has stated they will not buy or construct any more new housing complexes until average rents in Edmonton and Calgary are $1600 a month. That's insane! That's $400 less than what I make in a month! Premier Ed Stelmach is against the idea of creating rent caps in Alberta similar to those already implemented in Ontario and BC. Stelmach said he learned from a news report rent controls haven't been successful in other parts of Canada and do not lead to new affordable housing units being built. Fair enough, house prices are high, but do we honestly think we're helping out our burgeoning job vacancy and homeless rates by allowing our rents to be as high as they are and to be increased as much as landlords want them to be? This is going to deter more people to move to Alberta to take the jobs that are currently vacant, especially because Alberta's minimum wage really needs to be increased again. $7.00 an hour puts us on par with New Brunswick and Newfoundland as the 3 lowest minimum wages in Canada. The three provinces bordering Alberta have minimum wages of $8.00 (BC), $7.95 (Saskatchewan) and $8.25 (NWT), so why are we among the lowest paid workers in the country with our booming economy, jobs galore and sudden high cost of living? The only thing the government can recommend are a few changes to current legislation: Under changes to be introduced in the legislature, landlords will only be allowed to increase rents only once a year instead of twice. And landlords wanting to kick a tenant out to do major renovations or convert a rental to a condominium will have to give at least one year's notice and won't be allowed to increase the rent during that time. Bah! Thanks guys. What are your thoughts? Do rental caps work? Are you for them or against them? What's your opinion of Alberta's current housing state?
2 people like this
2 responses
• Canada
27 Apr 07
Rent controls work they help peopel from getting priced out of the market too fdast adn they allow families to plan finaces for a year or so and then they can only be raised a percentage. The minimum wage is that way so the province could get it economy going after the last oil boom now they should be raiseing it to match other provinces to slow down so people can afford to live there There was a tiem the alberta goverment paid for bus ticket to help lower income peopel out of alberta into BC adn Sask. There coem a time when goverments need to control things way better adn it is up to the voters to let them knwo.
2 people like this
@KarenO52 (2951)
• United States
27 Apr 07
I'm shocked at what rent costs these days. Canada is not alone in high rent prices. When my daughter moved out after graduating from college, she got a small 1 bedroom apartment for almost $800 a month. After a few years, she moved back home and started saving money to buy a house. She was able to find a nice house, and is making payments that aren't too much more than her rent was for the tiny apartment. My husband and I built the house we live in, with the help of lots of friends and family. A few years ago, we paid off the mortgage. I couldn't imagine paying rent anywhere, it's like robbery. I feel bad for those poor old people.