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Sunday, April 03, 2011 

Why Is Premier Brad Wall's Administration Defending 63% Rent Increases?

Premier Brad Wall and his supporters are able to look you straight in the eye and tell you that a 63% increase in apartment rent costs is a good thing.

Somehow, a Saskatchewan Party supporter thinks that 'whatever the market will bear' is the best way to oversee rent increases in the province. Unfortunately, they forget that people's lives are seriously affected by this blind adherence to out of control rent increases.

During the early days of the Saskatchewan Party administration we heard a lot of hype about the boom that was going to happen in real estate. As a result of this phony chatter, realtors and apartment owners jacked up the price of rental accommodation using the inflated 'market value' of the property to justify rapid and successive rent increases. Increases have very little to do with 'real cost' adjustment - rather increases have been based on phony speculative real estate values.

The funny thing was that the national realty market soon realized that what was happening in the Saskatchewan market was, in reality, nothing but speculative hype.

Saskatchewan's Official Opposition raised the issue in an effort to protect fixed income families and individuals from hyper inflated rental increases. They suggested that it is time to look at some measures that can control these unjustified and hyper inflated rent increases.

The response that they got from the Saskatchewan Party (and those with Sask Party agenda) was what you would expect. They simply don't give a fig for working people, seniors and students. Brad Wall insisted that the rental market would remain 'unfettered' and he justified rental increases that have now crept to the 63% level.

Saskatchewan voters go to the polls in November. Anyone who has experienced a large rent increase, and supports the Wall administration, has only themselves to blame.

For all of their rhetoric, hype and slogans, Saskatchewan Party supporters are not serving the average citizen of Saskatchewan. No, they are representing a segment of the society who are recklessly gouging anyone who rents.

--CBC Saskatchewan

More ...
Brad Wall is just plain wrong on rent controls ...

We have controls on other essential commodities such as power and gas. What could be more essential than a roof over your head?

My BF in Saskatoon is facing a twenty-two percent increase with no improvements at all to the property. It is pure greed, driven by a rental market so tight that people are couch surfing just to survive.

These types of increases are immoral and cruel. Come the summer I will have to help my BF with his rent just so he can keep his head above water. If I don't he will have to choose between shelter and prescription medication.

It shouldn't be this way. Everyone should enjoy the dignity and security of a safe and well-maintained home that they can afford. The so-called free market (greedy opportunistic landlords) should not have the power to dictate who is entitled to shelter.

The elimination of rent controls on new vacancies and construction here in Ontario by the Harris regime has not resulted in increased development nor has it improved the existing stock either.

What it has done however is dramatically increased the rate of evictions, homelessness and of course hunger as a larger and ever increasing percentage of income now must be allocated to what is in most cases rapidly deteriorating housing.

Everyone in this thread seems to be making the basic mistake that there is some 'real' cost of rent that the 'speculation' isn't accurate about. The cost of renting is pretty much what is charged for it. If you don't want to live with that cost, someone else will pay it, and that's the whole point -- it really is worth that much to somebody.

It should also be pointed out that Saskatchewan is seeing a pretty big surge in population as our economy is doing better than the economies of our neighbour provinces and states in either direction -- this is going to mean that the cost of rent/living is going to go up until it is so expensive that it no longer makes sense to move here anymore. You can attribute it to greed if you want but there's still going to be an increase in cost even without that, just by the basic necessity that the NDP has built a pretty decent province up (which the Wall government is slower at dismantling than the equivalent governments elsewhere), and people *are going to want to live here* once they realize this. This *will* make it more expensive to live here, until it's balanced out again.

themusicgod1, The fundamental difference of opinion is that you view housing solely as a commodity and as I can only speak for myself, I view affordable housing as right.

That doesn't mean that a landlord isn't allowed to make a decent return on his/her investment but that there needs to be limits place upon that, plus governments have a responsibility to provide decent housing to those of meager means

@Kev: If housing was a human right, it would be free. And mabye it should be free -- but we're not talking about that, we're talking about the housing that's being managed by the market already. High returns on investments are signals of opportunities for others, and opportunities for *higher taxes*. More taxes that can build honest to god free housing.

Every limit you put on housing is another housing unit that won't be built, and another person who will be homeless, even if it's not nearby in saskatchewan for you to see it. The problem is a deeper one than can be solved by such means, and your ignoring it only makes it worse.

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