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Letter: Burnaby residents 'feel cheated' by removal of rental restrictions

"This will be an ideal time for investors to buy up strata homes and they will have the NDP to thank for these opportunities."
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Some Burnaby residents are upset with the BC NDP's plan to remove rental restrictions from strata homes.

Editor:

We are terribly upset by B.C.’s government electing to remove all rental restrictions from strata complexes.

We live in a very small, 36-unit, self-managed townhouse complex in the Forest Grove area. The NDP’s decision has removed safe guards that protect what we, as retired workers, consider our greatest financial asset — our home. With mortgage rates rising and home prices falling, this will be an ideal time for investors to buy up strata homes and they will have the NDP to thank for these opportunities. By allowing investors to buy into our strata and to rent out townhouses, we will be losing financial ground. An investor does not have the same commitment as an owner and it will not take many investors to wreak budgetary havoc as our small complex struggles to fix, maintain, and improve our 40-year-old townhouses. How can one rule fit all? This is a very poorly thought out decision.

We feel cheated by the NDP government: making decisions affecting our lives and homes, reducing the value of our private property going forward, and increasing our monthly costs as we deal with the extra burden of insurance, administration, and legal advice. If this was something the NDP had as a plan, where was the public discourse and where were the studies to see how this new ruling would affect middle and working class home owners? Townhouses are bought almost always because we can’t afford detached homes, especially in the Lower Mainland! Where is the humanity or fairness in this decision? Why must strata owners shoulder the brunt of providing housing? They are trying to fix years of housing mismanagement at all levels of government by using strata homes. Shame on them!

If this is the way the NDP government plans to railroad over the people of B.C., then we want no part of them! We will never again vote NDP. We are certain there are B.C. residents numbering in the hundreds of thousands that feel this same angst and do not want the government inserting themselves into our personal lives in such a negative, costly, and overreaching manner. They know full well this ruling will overwhelmingly and negatively affect middle- and working-class homeowners! Are we to lose yet more financial ground to upper-income families? Again, townhouses are bought because we cannot afford detached homes, especially in the Lower Mainland!

We are wondering if the Honourable David Eby, others in parliament, or perhaps their neighbours, are planning to add a basement suite or maybe, a laneway home, to their existing homes? Are they planning to rezone their residential areas in order to share their homes, yards, parks, schools... with those that need rental space, or is this decision on strata rental rules as hypocritical as it seems?

Carolyn Carpenter and Duke Shoebotham, Burnaby

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