How Suite It Is

I am one of the many home owners in New Westminster with a rented suite. We have a sunny, clean one bedroom that is rented to a lovely tenant. When we purchased our home, the suite allowed us to buy a home that we could truly live in, and we did not have to moveRead More

I am one of the many home owners in New Westminster with a rented suite. We have a sunny, clean one bedroom that is rented to a lovely tenant. When we purchased our home, the suite allowed us to buy a home that we could truly live in, and we did not have to move to Surrey. Try as we might South of the Fraser, we could not find a neighbourhood that we were willing to live in. I was elated to find this house, with all of its heritage quirks, partly because the suite could help make it all happen. My suite, unlike so many in this city, is registered. I have a small 4 x 4 cm aluminum square on my sidewalk to prove it.

Victoria city, that place over the fog that stole our thunder, our capitol status and our streetlamps (fist shaking) has proposed a civic measure to help alleviate the dearth of rental properties in that city and tackle the affordable housing issue. (CBC Report) The city of Victoria will offer a limited number of homeowners $5000.00 to create a rentable secondary suite in their home or to upgrade an existing one to code, and have it registered. FANTASTIC I say. Not only will this place homeowners on better legal ground and assist some to make that reno dream come true, it will provide homes in a town with an unbelievably competitive vacancy rate and bring in a rise in tax revenue from all of the homeowners who took advantage of the program. I am sure that City of Victoria will repay the quarter million program investment quickly with the increased revenues and smell like roses to boot. The homeowners won’t complain about the extra tax as they will be bringing in an extra $800-$1500 per month.

I suggest the same thing happen here. I can not benefit from the program as I am already legal beagle but so many other rented suites are just a few thou’ away from being a reality and so many others can be brought into the cleansing gleam of daylight with just a bit of an upgrade.

Mayor Wayne Wright has comedown strongly infavour of enabling New Wesminster taxpayers to rent suites in their houses where appropriate but to achieve the goal of affordable housing, has had so shy away from rigourous enforcement of the zoning bylaws. I have attached a recent video (October, Queensborough) of Mayor Wright and Mr. Blair Armitage on the campaign trail answering a question on how to enforce the legal suite bylaws to illustrate his position. This program would offer Mayor and Council a way to achieve many important goals. I suggest they adopt a similar policy.

Illegal suites have not been closed down and the likelihood of our city’s bylaw being enforced is remote. What is your position on this?

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Will Tomkinson

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4 comments

  1. You know there is a real problem with Illegal suites in the city, in some neighborhoods particularly.

    How does one get insurance for a rental suite without a permit ?

    When your house burns down because of a tenant in an illegal suite, will the insurance company pay ?

    Another issue with the Suites is community density. Some of these people will drive cars, so now you have to have another off street parking spot for them. Often times no parking is made, and these cars line our streets and alleys making them hard to maneuver, and often with enough clearance for one car at a time… Look what happened on Richmond st. I don't know if those houses all have suites, but clearly parking issues have caused all these people to park on the road causing there woes with City hall.

    I would have to say the city is plugged full, but this seems to be more about "mortgage helpers" as an economic stimulus for property owners, then the plight of the poor who cannot afford a home of their own.

    N.W.

  2. Btw- great little u-tube clip of our mayor telling us how we need illegal suites "in this day and age"
    Whats will be next that the city turns a blind eye too ?

    Well, I guess they did stop people from renting out they're garages….

    N.W.

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