Vancouver Rentals: Downtown Haunt in a Luxury Building

At $1,200 a month, a downtown Vancouver den advertised on Craigslist would cost someone working full-time at minimum wage about half of their monthly earnings.

Like many online listings for shared spaces downtown, the bedroom furniture is crammed into a space that the developers of these towers likely intended as a sunroom, flex room, or bonus space. The dorms themselves seem to leave little room to move between the single bed and the wall shelves installed in place of a closet.

With the average studio price hovering just over $2,000 per month, the cost of this rental is relatively affordable. But affordable, when it comes to housing, has a special meaning.

“In Canada, housing is considered ‘affordable’ if it costs less than 30% of a household’s pre-tax income,” explains the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation on its website.

Someone would have to make $48,000 a year for that little space in a shared apartment to hit that threshold. For someone who works 37.5 hours a week and earns BC’s minimum wage of $15.65 an hour, paying that rental would amount to handing over 47% of their wages. It also costs nearly three times what someone on income assistance or disability assistance receives for housing.

This listing has a central location in a high-rise building packed with amenities like laundry facilities, pool, hot tub, sauna, and fitness center. Housekeeping service is included in the monthly rate.

These images from a Craigslist post on August 1, 2022 advertise a den for rent in downtown Vancouver for $1,200

Robert Patterson, a lawyer for the Tenant Resource Advisory Council, told CTV News last month that rental listings like these are often an attempt to share the exorbitant cost of renting in luxury buildings – which he says , are being built at such a distant pace. is ahead of the development of affordable options.

“There just isn’t anything affordable available in their community, which is why people will turn to something like this,” he says.

“People, because they can’t find anything affordable, they’ll take something that’s unaffordable and hope and do their best to get other people to share the cost with them.”

According to Patterson, a substantial investment in affordable, off-market option co-ops is the only strategy that will succeed in driving down prices in Canada’s most expensive market.

CTV News Vancouver has contacted the person who posted the ad and this story will be updated if a response is received.

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