As house prices rise in Port Alberni and throughout BC, rental rates are also rising.
City Councillor and local real estate agent Shari Minions says there is a rental crisis in Port Alberni, and the city and province need to encourage people with space in their homes to create affordable rental suites.
She says our current problem is not affordability but availability, and prices are quickly catching up to other cities on the island.
Minions says the provincial announcement reducing the amount landlords can raise rents from 4.5 to 2.5% was a mistake, as governments need to encourage landowners to create rental space.
She said real estate investors need better incentives to rent out their properties, and people with room in their homes to create rental suites need to be encouraged.
She said investors are seeing the double-digit increase in house prices here and are snapping them up, but often leaving them empty until they can resell them later.
She said while the province could help by giving landlords greater protection from bad tenants, the city can help encourage increased supply of affordable rentals.