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Section of Vancouver living room with 'curtain acting as a door' advertised for $950/month

This image from a Craigslist ad posted in March of 2023 shows a sectioned-off portion of a living room renting for $950. This image from a Craigslist ad posted in March of 2023 shows a sectioned-off portion of a living room renting for $950.

A portion of the living room of a downtown Vancouver condo with "a curtain acting as a door" is being advertised for $950 per month on Craigslist.

The listing is one example of how prospective renters looking to spend less than a thousand dollars for a shared suite have few options, with a recent federal report showing the average price for a two-bedroom unit increased by 6.3 per cent in 2022 – to $2,002 for a purpose-built unit and $2,504 for a condo.

In this particular ad, a sectioned-off space has been created to accommodate a third roommate in a two-bedroom, two-bathroom suite that is just over 800 square feet.

"About your sleeping area: Enclosed living room and is separated from the dining area with a large bookcase and wardrobe," the ad reads, noting the absence of an actual door. "Furnished with a twin bed and a desk."

A glance through online listings in any given month shows that converting spaces that are not officially designated as bedrooms into accommodations for prospective roommates is one approach people take to defray ever-rising costs of renting in the city, particularly in luxury buildings in the downtown core.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's annual renter's report, released in January, showed that Vancouver rents continued to be the highest in the country. The vacancy rate dropped to below one per cent, meaning there are scant options and fierce competition for what is available.

For people with less money, the situation is particularly dire.

"Important imbalances exist in the Vancouver rental market. Our data show that lower-income households face significant challenges finding units that they can afford," the report said.

Only about one in three market units is affordable to a household with an annual income of less than $55,000, only one in 200 is affordable to households with the lowest 20 per cent of incomes, the report noted.

The federal agency defines "affordable" as spending 30 per cent of one's income on rent. At $950, this space would be affordable to someone making $38,000 per year.

CTV News Vancouver has reached out to the person who posted the ad but did not receive a response. Top Stories

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