It’s inevitable the municipality of North Cowichan is at the point of having to consider allowing more secondary suites.
The housing crunch is hitting hard everywhere in B.C. and the real estate market shows no signs of slowing down so something has to be done.
The lack of affordable and available options means secondary suites are probably one of the best ways to deal with the crisis, if managed properly.
This is not a green light for slums. There are plenty of illegal suites in operation right now and if they’re brought up to B.C. Building Code standards, then it’s a win-win.
The municipality won’t have to waste as much time on bylaw enforcement when complaints arise. At the same time, tenants will receive safe options and it will open up more space for young people, in particular, who are looking for options that won’t require them to spend 90 per cent of their earnings on accommodation.
Property owners who decide to make space available for secondary suites will receive a legitimate income to help pay down their mortgages.
None of this would likely have been necessary if it wasn’t for skyrocketing housing prices. No one realistically thought we’d see the day where you practically need half a million dollars to get into a decent starter home in this region.
But that’s the new reality and it’s probably here to stay because we have the most desirable area in all of Canada to live.
We need to give people the best possible way to ensure they aren’t cash-strapped solely based on putting a roof over their heads. If secondary suites is the way to handle it, then so be it.