Housing Consultant says renters being crunched by lack of affordable housing

(© Can Stock Photo / inxti)

A Senior Housing Consultant for Tim Welch Consulting says people hoping to buy a home are not the only ones struggling with the lack of affordable housing.

Drew Goursky says employers are looking for people to fill a wide range of entry level jobs and the pandemic contributed to that problem. It becomes even more difficult when there is no place for those people to live.

Goursky says according to the 2016 census, 20 per cent of the people in Huron County were renting, and he expects that number will continue to drop as people who have rental properties are now choosing to sell them.

He adds potential renters say it’s become much more difficult to find a suitable place to rent or one that they can afford.

“And I imagine it becomes a bigger challenge to find employees, retain employees. Commuting is now more expensive, so if people are locating outside of a community like Bayfield or Goderich and they’re having to commute by car, at over $2 per litre for gas, now that becomes a very challenging issue.”

Goursky says another factor that’s contributing to the problem is the vacancy rate in Huron County. It’s currently running at around 3 per cent.

“So when you’re running under a three per cent vacancy every year, that’s a pretty tight rental market. So you’ve got twenty per cent renters, you’ve got people coming in from other places that might be looking for something to rent and when you’ve got less than a three per cent vacancy rate, when you’re running around one or two per cent, that’s very little turnover.”

Goursky also points out that, by extension, that adds to the waiting list of people looking to the county for affordable housing or geared to income housing.