July 28, 2015 10:54 pm
Updated: July 28, 2015 11:06 pm

Vancouver faces growing rental crisis


WATCH: Housing advocates are warning about a “rental tsunami” that could sweep many Vancouverites out of their homes.

We all know that owning a home in Metro Vancouver can be expensive, but some experts say renting may not be much better.

Vancouver’s rental market can be tough to navigate with prices rising and supply at an all-time low. The vacancy rate in Vancouver is 0.5 per cent and the city’s average rent is now the highest in Canada.

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While existing tenants are protected by rent control, landlords can charge new tenants whatever the market will bear, which can translate to rent increases of 10 or 20 per cent.

READ MORE: Vancouver parking space selling for $45,000

One expert says more increases are to be expected.

“It makes sense that they would because today Vancouver is relatively cheap to rent in compared to cities with similar house prices,” said Thomas Davidoff of UBC’s Sauder School of Business.

Tenant Rosemary Hodgkinson has been renting in Kitsilano for 17 years, but the home she lives in has been sold. She has been given eight weeks to get out.

“It’s just become a playground for the rich,” said Hodgkinson. “Poor people are getting forced out. Even the middle class are getting forced out.”

-With files from Elaine Yong

© 2015 Shaw Media

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