Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Regina's Housing Crisis: Made even worse by the City of Regina

Good morning Regina!!

In what even the City of Regina admits is a ridiculous bylaw, it would appear that this week is far more about action than words. Within days of the Regina Housing Summit which is planned to occur May 13 & 14, news broke Monday with a CTV exclusive report (later reported by other local media outlets), and gaining more traction by the hour, the City of Regina is in some hot water as it tries to enforce a bylaw that, get this, prevents homeowners from renting out rooms in their house to "non-relatives" for "compensation". What's worse? This is perfectly allowable in that very same bylaw - IF THE OWNER DOESN'T LIVE THERE!!! Yes, you read that right Regina, both situations result in the same alleged inconveniences that those in "mid to upper scale neighbourhoods" complain to the City about, but yet, one is perfectly alright, while the other can land you with a $10,000 fine or up to a year in jail. Yep, that's your reward for helping with the Regina Housing Crisis, folks! FINED or IMPRISONMENT.

This is why I say, strongly, that actions speak far louder than words. No amount of "elitist" bullshit Housing Summit event, no matter how well-intended, can offset the horrible PR nightmare that is only just beginning for the City of Regina with this one ridiculous bylaw - or more to the point, the enforcement of said ridiculous bylaw. I recall at a recent housing "information" session (it was supposed to be Q&A, but a lot of people left with more Q's than A's), that the City Deputy Manager, Jason Carlston, himself, agreed this bylaw was outdated and needed to be ammended and/or reviewed. First off, I was blown away that this bylaw even existed at that time, but I thought, "thank goodness they aren't enforcing such a stupid bylaw." Then, BAM, Monday, here we go, enforcement. Keep in mind, folks, this is only the first such situation to be reported to the Media. How many others have silently allowed the City of Regina to walk all over them and evicted their tenants because they were afraid of the penalties that the City would enforce on them?

With the above in mind, and considering Regina is facing an extremely tight housing crisis (Vacancy at or below 1% for many months/years now), I STRONGLY encourage each and every one of you to do AT LEAST one of three things:

#1 - Phone your City Councillor and tell them to STOP ENFORCING THIS BYLAW until it has been reviewed and updated. Even the BYLAW ENFORCEMENT MANAGER has been quoted on TV as saying that it's a ridiculous bylaw, but "they have no choice but to enforce it". Actually, this is completely false. They do have the option to explain to the complainers about their honest concerns with this ridiculous bylaw and that they are looking into ways to address it. I believe that this would alleviate any concerns of those residents who are upset with the situations, on both sides.

#2 - Attend the Meeting at St. Martin's Parish on Thursday evening from 7-9pm, where the City has agreed to meet with residents about this utterly ridiculous situation. It is my personal hope that they will say "oops" and reverse this ludicrous decision until updates to the bylaws are made.


#3 - Take part in the "Enough Talk, Let's Walk" put on by Carmichael Outreach on Monday, May 13, 2013 at 12:00PM. Details below:


Do you struggle with housing or have you struggled with housing in the past? Are you currently homeless or know someone who is? Carmichael Outreach would like to invite you to join our walk in hopes to raise awareness surrounding Regina’s current housing crisis.

Date: Monday, May 13, 2013
Start Time: 12:00 pm
Walk will begin: North Central Community Association (1264 Athol St.)
Walk will end: In front of City Hall, approx 2:00 pm (2410 Victoria Avenue)

Following the walk Carmichael will hold a press conference where everyone will be invited to share their stories, ask questions regarding the city’s current housing strategy, and express any concerns. Come out and support your community and get people talking. We would like to hear your story!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the walk please feel free to contact Laura Dieter or Alaina Harrison at . We can also be reached at Carmichael Outreach Inc. (306) 757-2235.

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