Brandy Langevin is packing up her house, preparing to move.
The single mom of three has lived in her rented Duncan home with her kids for nearly two years. Months ago, her landlord let her know that she needs to find a new space by Nov. 1.
“I’ve been looking for about six months,” said Langevin. “There’s absolutely, next to nothing out there, and what there is so astronomically high, it’s just not feasible for people to afford.”
And while she’s entertained the idea of renting a one-bedroom until she can find something larger, her nine-year old son has severe autism and sensory perceptive disorder and can’t be confined in tight spaces.
While some suitable places have popped up, there’s fierce competition.
“They come up fast and they go fast. For instance, the one place I just applied for would have been perfect but there were 383 visits in five days,” said the hopeful renter.
She isn’t the only one struggling to find a larger place amid the pandemic amid the tight rental market.
According to Rentals.ca, the demand for larger, more rural properties is skyrocketing, as more people work from home amid COVID-19.
“The demand has shrunk for smaller places and people are looking for more room for an office, workout space, just more room for their family. So people are looking for bigger places, so smaller places are harder to rent, and bigger places are more expensive,” said Paul Danison, content director for Rentals.ca.
The costs are growing quickly for renters on the Island.
Last September, the average price of a one-bedroom rental in Victoria was $1,475, this year, it’s $1,616, an increase of 9.6 per cent, according to Rentals.ca.
And the rental pressure in the capital is spreading to other communities like Duncan
“People are coming out of the city, looking for bigger places for less money in surrounding cities, and a lot of them can do it because they’re working from home,” said Danison.
With a lack of affordable options, Brandy hopes the government will invest more in low-income housing.
“I believe this is absolutely sickening, and its terrible families have to face this because I don’t know where I’m going to go with my kids in seven days, I have no idea,” said the mom, desperate for a place to call home come Nov.1.
For now, she’s applying and hoping to find a place for her family, before the end of the month.