Northwest B.C. is going through a housing crisis.
Too few homes, too many people, and prices that renters say are unaffordable.
On this special series, we're exploring how an economic boom is affecting the people who call northern B.C. home.
Kitimat: A community in upheaval
Our first stop is Kitimat: a community in upheaval.
In part two, we get a preview of some of the voices we'll be hearing in the series.
In part three, we examine the rights of landlords- and what those rights mean for renters.
The affordable housing crisis is getting worse, not better
An interview with Brock Carlton, CEO for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, on the lack of affordable housing across Canada and what he thinks should be done about it.
What life is really like for a camp worker
Around ten thousand workers are expected to be living in the Kitimat area by this summer. Mitch Wong lived at the camp for Rio Tinto Alcan's modernization project. Nearly 18 hundred people live in trailers at the site, and Wong soon discovered camp life wasn't for him.
Fort Nelson: growth is slowing, but homes still needed
If the housing shortage of northwestern B.C. sounds familiar, it should. In 2011, northeastern B.C was facing the same issues as a result of the natural gas boom. Kim Eglinski is a councillor with the Northern Rockies Municipal District. She says that even though growth has slowed, new housing is needed for the future.
Homeless shelters in the northwest are sending people to Prince George
In the northwest, rising rents and a lack of affordable housing are squeezing out those with low incomes. So some people are being sent to the closest affordable centre: hours away, in Prince George.
The housing crunch is good news for developers, but bad for other businesses
Kitimat can't build new homes fast enough. This means business is booming for housing developers- but other companies are having a tough time retaining employees who can't find anywhere to live.
Even people in trailer parks are being "renovicted"
People who live in a trailer park in Port Edward say they are worried they are being pushed out to make way for a work camp. At least 12 families are facing eviction notices- including one who just moved in.
Single mother in Kitimat is being renovicted for a second time
"Renoviction" has become a dreaded buzzword in Kitimat. It refers to being evicted from an apartment that has been renovated, then had its rent increased. It is especially harsh on people with a low income, like this single mother.
Housing Minister Rich Coleman
Rich Coleman is the province's minister responsible for housing. He says he's heard the concerns from the northwest, but the province has no plans to create additional affordable housing. He points to a number of programs already in place through the province, and urges renters to learn their rights.
Finding a home in the northwest is even harder if you have a pet
Finding an affordable place to live in B.C.'s northwest is hard enough. Finding a place that allows pets is even harder.
Building a home for the disabled in Prince Rupert
There are not a lot of housing options, when you're disabled and living in B.C.'s northwest. But one Prince Rupert man plans to change that.
Is Prince Rupert ready for the housing crunch that's already hit Terrace and Kitimat?
Kitimat, Terrace, and Smithers are also facing issues of low to no vacancy. Things haven't reached that point in Prince Rupert, but some people think it's only a matter of time and are worried the city isn't prepared.