Chilliwack doctor worried he’s being priced out of Metro Vancouver housing market

Click to play video: 'Doctor pens housing letter to government'
Doctor pens housing letter to government
WATCH: A doctor from Chilliwack pens a letter to the government as a professional being priced out of Metro Vancouver’s red hot real estate market. Nadia Stewart reports – Jul 23, 2016

Many have been complaining about how our red hot real estate market in Metro Vancouver is pricing them out – but now a doctor from Chilliwack has decided to take on the government through an open letter.

“My family and I are trying to find a place to live and it’s quite challenging and I just thought enough is enough,” said Darren Joneson.

The second year resident physician graduated with an MD from the University of Alberta in 2015, and moved back to his home province of British Columbia. Two months ago, he and his wife had his first child.

But while his professional and family life have been going well, his housing situation has been anything but. Unable to find a suitable home in Chilliwack to buy, they settled on renting a townhouse – but after a year, their landlord decided to sell the home and not renew their lease.

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“I work hard, as do most British Columbians and this is a bit discouraging and frustrating to have to find myself diverting my efforts into home finding rather than really focusing my efforts on my training,” he says.

“Our homeowners have sold their house and are now moving into our house…it essentially means we’re finding ourselves relocating half way through my two-year family medicine residency.”

It prompted Joneson to write an open letter to Chilliwack’s MP, MLA and Mayor, along with Premier Christy Clark and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, to share his situation.

READ MORE: BC Liberals face housing balancing act, say experts

“As a highly trained medical doctor, I shouldn’t have to choose between living where I want and living in a home I want. My choices shouldn’t be a huge house anywhere else in Canada or a townhouse in the Fraser Valley,” he writes (you can read the whole letter here).

“In the end, because of my training and my profession, I know I will be ok. I will be able to afford a home even if it’s smaller, or the mortgage is almost double that of my elder peers. But what about your average person who won’t be making six figures or more?” he wrote.

The letter was shared by the group Housing Action for Local Taxpayers.

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“This is exactly the type of person that we’re potentially scaring away if we don’t fix this,” said Justin Fung, a member of the group.

“With the right collaboration between [all three] levels of government, we can actually have an enforceable policy that starts to look at a lot of things that are broken in the system today.”

It can’t come soon enough for Joneson.

“I can tell you right now that THIS is the issue I will be voting on in every single election until someone finally has a solution that will make it so my children can afford homes,” he writes in his letter.

“That might mean that when I finally buy, my house won’t increase in value during my lifetime. I hope that is the case.”

– With files from Nadia Stewart

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