WATCH: A Duncan mother is overwhelmed by offers pouring in to help her and fellow tenants of a motel there that have been served with notice of a $400 rent increase. We first shared Patricia Bagley’s scramble to find new housing on Friday, along with her imminent fear that becoming homeless would see her children taken from her.
Patricia Bagley entered her Cowichan MLA’s office Tuesday hoping for an update on her urgent quest for housing, but what she got brought her to tears.
“We’ve come a long way,” said Bagley. “I didn’t think we would get any help. I didn’t think it was going to turn out like this.”
Patricia and her five-year-old daughter were introduced to CHEK News viewers on April 6.
They are some of the 19 tenants of a Duncan motel who are scrambling to find housing after being given a $400 rent increase. The motel is designed for short-term accommodation but has now become essential housing in the Island’s housing shortage and will be increasing prices from winter to summer tourist rates May 1.
“Oh my god I can’t even,” tenant Sylvia Jack. “$1000 a month is already lots.”
The renters have been looking everywhere in the Cowichan Valley for a place to rent, but to no success. The vacancy rate is at a critical low and rents are higher than many at the motel can pay. Bagley fears she’ll lose her children if she becomes homeless.
“You should not have your child taken away because you can’t find affordable housing,” said Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau. “The government should be working to provide that safe, affordable housing.”
Cowichan Tribes says 600 people are currently on a wait-list for housing there.
“There’s nothing on the reserve that’s ready,” said Chief William Seymour.
Yet since our story aired, it’s started a domino effect in motion, MLA Sonia Furstenau and constituency staff are searching for emergency housing and assured Bailey they’ll fight to keep her children with her no matter what and offers of donations have come in as well.
One CHEK News viewer has even offered to cover the added $400 increase for every suite in the hotel to give them all an extra month to find necessary accommodations.
“Like all those heavy bricks are lifted off of me now like it just disappeared,” said Bagley.