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'Impossible': Burnaby family stuck finding new rental home as prices soar

Family says trying to stay close to children's school nearly impossible.
A Burnaby family is trying to not disrupt their life too much while finding a new rental home. IStock photo

Looking for a home that can fit three young children, two parents, and two animals is a struggle for Burnaby families.

That’s according to local resident Rachel Degraw, who has found the search difficult and is raising awareness of the lack of affordable options in the city.

Degraw recently tweeted about the struggle that her family has been faced with now that her landlord has informed them that they are moving into the North Burnaby house that Degraw and her family resides in.

“To find a family home in Burnaby that is suitable and look where they will accept you, is almost impossible, especially if you don't want to be paying upwards of $4,000 and above,” said Degraw.

Degraw wants to stay in North Burnaby so that her kids won't have to transfer schools and lose important friend groups.

“We want a home where we don't always have to uproot children and move them from schools and preschools and friends and community centre activity and to practice and all that great stuff they love,” Degraw told the NOW.

While frantically looking for a new place on platforms like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist, Degraw has also found a trend of garden and  basement suites being available for rent - not entire homes.

“So right, you're going to be on the top or the floor, on the top of the house or the bottom of the house. And we tried that once and with kids, you know, you can't stop their natural noise and that style of living is really not practical. If you have kids, you know, bouncing balls or running around playing or crying or whatever it may be,” said Degraw.

Degraw has sent a letter to her local MLA to bring awareness of her issue that her family is facing - expensive rent.

“I sent a letter six to seven months ago, and unfortunately got a thank you for contacting your MLA response. I do not think that the current city council members in Burnaby are focused on assisting families with the inflated rental costs,” said Degraw.

Housing is expected to be a major issues in this October’s civic election.

According to the and Bullpen Research & Consulting latest National Rent Report, Burnaby finished seventh on the list for average monthly rent in January for a one-bedroom home at $1,847 and sixth for average monthly rent for a two-bedroom at $2,377. Year over year, average monthly rent in January for a one-bedroom in Burnaby was up 7.4 per cent and up 7.8 per cent for a two-bedroom.