Burnaby council candidate crowdfunds to pay rent as housing insanity continues

Chris Campbell

My favourite candidate in the 2018 Burnaby civic election was independent Claire Preston.

She’s young, enthusiastic and full of positive ideas for her community.

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Preston so impressed Mayor Mike Hurley that he appointed her to the parks, recreation and culture commission.

Preston has also been a constant presence at council meetings – unlike some other unsuccessful candidates who disappear from the municipal scene – and Hurley’s new task force on housing.

It’s the housing task force that Preston is most clearly interested in. She’s a renter in a rental market that is Canada’s third-most expensive after Vancouver and Toronto.

The rental market is so awful that it leaves people vulnerable to any sort of misfortune.

That misfortune has struck Preston, who took to Twitter today with a simple plea: “I need help.”


Preston has started a GoFundMe campaign so she can pay her rent for March. She’s starting a new job later this month, but has – like many people – gotten caught in that gap between EI and that first paycheque. I went through a bout of unemployment a few years ago and it's a rough time.

“I am asking for your help to raise the outstanding part of my rent so that my roommates and I do not end up evicted,” Preston writes in her GoFundMe page.
I don’t really know Preston very well, but I saw her plea – a hard thing to post for anyone – and she reminds me of my daughter and so many other young people struggling with this insane housing market and shaky employment market.

It’s a reminder of why we need the housing task force and more innovative ideas to get the housing market under control.

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