Baby's crib in the bathroom: Campaign highlights Vancouver housing crisis
Published Wednesday, May 18, 2016 11:14AM PDT
A Vancouver-based campaign will use personal stories of struggle to highlight the need for affordable housing across the country.
One of those stories is that of homeowner Jennifer Lloyd, who is raising two young sons in a cramped Kitsilano condo.
Their home is so small that her 19-month-old son sleeps in his crib in his parents' bathroom.
"I feel dreadfully guilty about it but there's little we can do," Lloyd told CTV News on Tuesday.
Lloyd and her husband are working parents with doctorates, but are unable to find any three-bedroom homes in their neighbourhood that the pair can afford.
She said the three-bedroom condos and homes in their area are "double, if not triple" the price of what they'd get if they sold their current home.
"Any (affordable) three-bedrooms we can find are so far away from where we live it would mean uprooting our older son out of the school he's currently in," she said.
"I want to be able to see my cousins and see my aunts and uncles, and the idea I'd have to leave the city to just survive is deeply upsetting to me."
Lloyd is one of many Metro Vancouver residents joining "Generation Squeeze," an advocacy group made up of young Canadians. The group began as a research project at the University of British Columbia, but has grown into an awareness campaign and lobby group for Canadians in their 40s and younger.
"You can't buy, you can't rent. People are exasperated… It needs to be a coordinated approach from all levels of government," Lloyd said.
The group is cohosted by the university and the Association for Generational Equity, a national non-profit organization.
Among other issues facing younger Canadians, Generation Squeeze is working to make affordable housing an election issue.
"This isn't just a few voices here or there, but there are thousands and thousands coming together," UBC Prof. Paul Kershaw said Tuesday.
"There's a common theme of younger Canadians in our 20s, 30s and 40s earning thousands of dollars less for full-time work than people did a generation ago, after you adjust for inflation, and then facing housing prices that are up hundreds of thousands of dollars."
Ahead of a major campaign launch next week, organizers hinted that there will be more rallies. The rallies will be similar to last year's "Don't Have $1 Million" event, which drew hundreds of protesters to downtown Vancouver.
And the housing crisis isn't just affecting those in Metro Vancouver.
"This is not a problem in a few select neighbourhoods in Point Grey in Vancouver. It's a problem facing the province and we need the provincial government and all parties running to tackle that with us,” Kershaw said.
With a report from CTV Vancouver's Penny Daflos