May 12, 2016 12:56 am

Kelowna family about to become homeless because of rental crunch

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KELOWNA, B.C. – The Kishor family has called the Okanagan home for 17 years but has never had difficulty putting a roof over their heads until now.

“We could be homeless come May 31,” said Christine McGregor-Kishor, mother of six with five children still living at home.

After receiving notice their current home was being put on the market in June, the Kishor family began looking for a new rental.

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After 70 days of searching, viewing and applying to rent a new home, they face the prospect of having to separate the family and move in with various relatives and friends.

“Rejection after rejection,” said McGregor-Kishor of the response from prospective landlords.

The Kishor family has joined hundreds of others who are searching for rentals in Kelowna, where the City reports a rental rate of .7 per cent vacancy or less.

“There’s a lot of people looking right now,” said Curtis Baszucki of Associated Property Management. “Everything from industry professionals, families, individuals and lots from out of town, out of province.”

“You want to get back to everybody, but it almost becomes impossible,” said Baszucki of the messages left for him every day by desperate rental-seekers.

McGregor-Kishor said homes are renting for between $2,800 and $5,000 a month in Kelowna, out of reach for the professional couple’s $2,000 budget, adding most landlords are increasing prices as demand goes up.

A quick search on-line found people who have lost homes in Fort McMurray to wildfire are also looking to make the Okanagan home, adding to the rental crunch.

“Regulation would be helpful,” said Kevin Kishor. “Just the city having some kind of standards for landlords for what they could charge and what’s fair.”

Like many would-be-renters, the Kishor’s have posted on-line profiles to help attract the help they need from a sympathetic landlord.

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