British Columbia

Metro Vancouver father blames housing market for 'working poor' lifestyle

Trevor Wilkie is losing his affordable townhouse rental because of the red-hot real estate market.

'The housing market is the bad guy,' says single dad at risk of losing family home

A Surrey single dad says he's been paying less than $1,600 a month for his Surrey town house, but once forced to move, he'll likely be paying at least $2,200 for a comparable unit. (CBC News)

Trevor Wilkie faces every day with the dread that he's about to lose his family home in Surrey B.C.

The townhouse the single father rents with his two children and dog is for sale.

The family faces the prospect of being priced out, as B.C. Premier Christy Clark prepares to head back to the legislature to grapple with new real estate rules.

Wilkie fears he will have to pay an additional $600 or more each month just to find a comparable place to rent, when his current home sells.

That's a rent hike he says he can't afford.

Trevor Wilkie says the housing market is the 'bad guy' not his landlord, who is selling the property he rents, forcing his family to move. (CBC News)
I make a good salary, but my life style will be one of the working poor.- Trevor Wilkie on prospect of paying even more for a rental home

"Our quality of life is going to change," said Wilkie.

"Having to move is going to have a huge impact on myself and my kids."

"I make a good salary but my lifestyle will be one of [the] working poor," he said. 

Wilkie expects he'll also have to move neighbourhoods to find something affordable, moving his children from the local schools they've attended for years.

He doesn't blame his landlord.

Rents can't keep pace with rising real estate

"The housing market is the bad guy," said Wilkie.

He knows the rent his landlord collects has only increased by the amount allowed by the province.

Yet the resale value of the rental home has risen by $150,000 in just a few years.

Housing issues have sparked a summer session for provincial leaders.

B.C.'s legislature is set to convene today to debate changes to Vancouver's charter that would allow the city to create a tax on vacant homes.

The government will also introduce legislative amendments to end self-regulation of real estate agents.