Nanaimo family moving to Alberta as housing crisis, inflation continues

Nanaimo family moving to Alberta as housing crisis, inflation continues

The cost of living here on the Island is pushing some people to make tough decisions and for one Nanaimo family, it was the decision to leave altogether and move to Alberta.

Jeremy Inscho’s Nanaimo home is on its way to being sold as his family prepares to move to Alberta.

The born and raised Nanaimoite says it was a tough decision to make but despite being a teacher and his wife a nurse, the increased cost of living has been hitting them hard as it has for so many others.

“Inflation has been a big hit with the interest rates going up. We’ve got a variable rate mortgage and that has added almost 50 per cent to our monthly cost of our mortgage and carrying some debt like many of us are that’s gone up and up and up and there’s nothing left at the end of the month anymore,” said Inscho.

On Friday, the federal NDP caucus met in Nanaimo either in person or virtually. The MPs checked in with people in the region about, among other issues, the housing crisis and the rising cost of living.

They say the problem is that not enough homes are being built and corporations are buying some of the ones that are.

“That’s why we are fighting to address the issues that we’re seeing around the financialization of housing, to see a national acquisition fund and to see a moratorium on large corporations swooping in and buying those affordable homes,” said Lisa Marie Barron, MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith.

“The largest real estate investment trusts over the last number of years benefitted $1.7 billion that they did not pay,” said Jenny Kwan, the NDP’s Housing Critic as she criticized how corporate taxes are set up.

On Wednesday Prime Minister Trudeau announced a new cabinet. Housing which was combined with infrastructure got a new minister in Sean Fraser.

“People need housing whether they’ve been here for a dozen generations or they got here last month. the answer at least in part is to continue to build more stock,” said Fraser Wednesday.

Inscho says he doesn’t believe there are any quick fixes and he says they’re not the only ones packing up. Three other neighbours on his block have either moved or are moving to Alberta for the same reasons.

“Our family is fortunate to be able to buy a house. That’s not in the cards for a lot of people but we’ll get far more for our money out there, fuel costs are much lower, taxes are lower, there’s no provincial sales tax. It all adds up,” said Inscho.

Another family deciding to leave Vancouver Island as the cost of living here gets pushed beyond reach for many.

Last month the Canadian Housing Index showed British Columbians have the highest proportion of people spending more than 50 per cent of their monthly budget on rent and utilities.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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