Salmon Arm Homes for Rent/Sale Etc. is a popular Facebook page used by those with places for rent and people in need of them. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm Homes for Rent/Sale Etc. is a popular Facebook page used by those with places for rent and people in need of them. (Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)

Carpenter building homes in Salmon Arm unable to find place to rent

Property manager says it’s easier to find work in Salmon Arm than a place to live

While there’s plenty of work to be found building houses in Salmon Arm, finding a place to rent in the city has been a struggle for carpenter Mel Hanson and his family.

Since late last summer, the Ponoka, Alta. resident has been looking for a place he and his family of six could relocate to in Salmon Arm where he has been able to find steady work in construction.

“I’m building houses but I can’t find a place to live,” said Hanson, who has been working in two-week shifts in Salmon Arm and returning home on weekends to be with his family.

“Early on in our marriage we decided not to go the oilfield/construction way because I’d be gone so much and, now, here we find ourselves… I’m gone just to survive,” said Hanson.

Hanson said whenever a suitable rental option does come available, one within his budget, it’s typically rented out before he’s able to view the place.

“There’s 10 families looking for the exact same place we are and it doesn’t seem to be changing,” said Hanson.

The experience has been the same for Jennifer Silzer, who relocated from Alberta to Salmon Arm for work. For more than three months she has been looking for a two-bedroom place suitable for her and her child.

“We’re staying with my mom right now which is great sometimes, but other times – it’s your mom, right,” laughed Silzer who, like Hanson, is finding the lack of rentals challenging, and what some people are asking for rent unreasonable.

“I think $1,200 would be a reasonable price, but to charge $1,400, all the way up to $2,300, for something that’s two to three bedrooms, that’s just a little crazy.”

Silzer said having a young child is also proving a barrier with prospective landlords.

Lyle Hill, a realtor of 18 years and property manager with HomeLife Salmon Arm Realty, said it’s currently easier to find work in the community than it is a place to rent.

“I’ve had lots of calls in the last few months from people that have a job lined up here if they can find a place to live and that’s a bigger challenge than finding the work,” said Hill, adding the rental market has been tight in the community for about three years.

Hill said he’s had rental listings on Facebook that he’s pulled within half a day due to the number of calls he’s received.

“There probably isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t get a call or email from somebody looking for a place and there’s still a shortage,” said Hill.

City councillor Louise Wallace Richmond, who sits on the city’s Housing Task Force, said the population growth Salmon Arm is currently experiencing is putting pressure on the housing supply and, in turn, is having a direct impact on the vacancy rate. She said the city went through the same situation in 2017. However, she explained, since then the city and council has worked with local housing providers and senior levels of government to address emergency, supportive and subsidized rental housing.

Read more: Salmon Arm experiencing ‘unprecedented’ sellers’ housing market

Read more: Finding a home ‘impossible’ in Vernon

“And by and large, this has been successful, including the 90 plus units of new housing on Fifth Avenue operated by the CMHA (Canadian Mental Health Association) and scheduled for completion by the end of 2021,” said Wallace Richmond, adding Okanagan College has also been approved for 60 units, “which will alleviate some pressure for our student population and this is a significant move.”

Wallace-Richmond noted council is mindful of the need for increasing residential density and is seeing some momentum on that front, including 140 rental units approved on a property across from the Mall at Piccadilly. In addition, the city’s policy on secondary suites continues to be well utilized, with more than 300 suites now legally zoned.

“I would add that the market conditions in Salmon Arm are attractive to developers and, in the medium and longer term, we will see an increase in housing supply,” said Richmond. “But certainly in the crunch we now see, it’s a challenging period, which is why we continue to advocate on a regular basis with our housing providers and partners to address concerns as they arise.”

Silzer said she will be applying for one of the 90 units on Fifth Avenue. As of April 12, Hanson had one more week of work left in his contract. After that, he said if hasn’t found a place to rent, it will no longer be feasible to remain in Salmon Arm.


lachlan@saobserver.net
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

General

HousingRentals

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People watch burning funeral pyres of their relatives who died of COVID-19 in a ground that has been converted into a crematorium in New Delhi, India, Thursday, May 6, 2021. Infections in India hit another grim daily record that day as demand for medical oxygen jumped seven-fold and the government denied reports that it was slow in distributing life-saving supplies from abroad. (AP Photo/Ishant Chauhan)
Liam’s Lowdown: Tell us more how COVID-19 is impacting B.C.

Compared to other provinces, B.C. releases less data on COVID-19 infections and vaccinations

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

The five graduating members of the Vernon-based Thompson Okanagan Lakers U18AAA girls hockey team – Jessica Engelbrecht (from left), Makenna Howe, Cheree Peters, Jayden Perpelitz, and Alexis Bishop – have all committed to collegiate hockey programs in Canada and the U.S. (Photo submitted)
Vernon-based hockey squad sends 5 to college ranks

Thompson Okanagan U18AAA Lakers players heading to Canadian and U.S. programs

Richard Green writes poetry under the nom de plume Rick the Poet Warrior. Homeless, Green sometimes spends his summers in Revelstoke but winters in Victoria, travelling to Ontario to visit his sister whenever he can. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke nomad pens poetry, offers insight into homelessness

Rick the Poet Warrior’s books can be found online as well as at the Revelstoke library

(Pixabay photo)
NHL bracket challenge supporting Indigenous awards at Okanagan College

One or more Indigenous students experiencing financial barriers will be able to receive an award

Sisters Audrey Cunningham and Donna Erdman, join the Vernon Kalamalka Chorus singing in their cars, tuned into the radio, under the direction of Debbie Parmenter. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
VIDEO: Okanagan choir steers around COVID with ‘carbershop’ twist

Singers find a unique way to practice during pandemic restrictions

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A Falkland man will present a 600+ signature petition to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District board Thursday, May 20, opposing dog control in Electoral Area D, which includes Falkland, Silver Creek, Salmon Valley and Ranchero/Deep Creek. (File photo)
600-plus sign Falkland man’s petition against dog control

Similar bylaw rejected by 200 public hearing attendees when topic came up 9 years ago

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Notes of hope, encouragement and camaraderie were left on the message board inside the kitchen of TacoTime. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Adiós, Taco Tuesday: Kelowna residents flock to TacoTime on restaurant’s final day

‘We don’t need another Starbucks. We need tacos on Tuesday, with extra hot sauce’

Most Read