A motion on the bylaw restricting tenants per household will be presented to Saanich Council

Saanich Council will be discussing the bylaw that restricts the number of tenants to a house on Monday.

Mayor Fred Haynes and Councillor Zac de Vries are presenting a motion that asks Saanich staff to explore changing the bylaw that currently limits the amount of tenants living in a Saanich house to 4.  The motion is following the eviction of three students living in a seven bedroom house in Saanich.

Haynes says there is a housing crisis in Greater Victoria, and something needs to be done to combat that.

"So what this motion does, is asks Saanich Staff to bring back a report on how we can change the bylaw.  Maybe if there's five bedrooms, or six bedrooms, or seven bedrooms, an occupancy could be one individual per bedroom.  We have houses where there's seven, eight, nine, ten family members living in. Why is that different if they're students?"

Haynes says there are issues that can arise from having too many tenants, such as noise complaints, lack of upkeep on the properties, and parking, but says there are bylaws in place to address these problems.  He adds that noise complaints usually aren't linked to overcrowded houses, but parties on the weekend, which he says could come from both family homes, and rental properties, including the ones with the proper amount of tenants.

Haynes also wants to look at working with UVic, to make sure students living off campus live up to the "Off Campus Code of Conduct."  He says 18,000 students attend UVic every year, and they all contribute to the local economy.  He says students face a lot of stress from school, and they shouldn't have to be stressed out because of their living situation.

"Not only is there a housing crisis, but there's a persistence of fear in the student population, where they may have five or six people in there to help with affordability, to help with the scarcity of accommodation, so they're living in fear.  That is not healthy for students who are coming to our campus, dealing with the stress of their classes, and they've got this fear and stress. So there's two issues here, there's mental health, and there's a housing issue."

He adds there is also a financial issue.  The house that the three students were evicted from is now vacant, because the remaining four students could no longer afford the rent.

Haynes says he and de Vries will present their report on Monday at the Council Meeting, and expects they will send staff out to examine the bylaw in detail.  He says the bylaw is doing what it was intended to do, but it is also linked to the housing, finance and mental health crisis, and needs to be changed.

Saanich Council will be discussing the bylaw that restricts the number of tenants to a house on Monday.

Mayor Fred Haynes and Councillor Zac de Vries are presenting a motion that asks Saanich staff to explore changing the bylaw that currently limits the amount of tenants living in a Saanich house to 4.  The motion is following the eviction of three students living in a seven bedroom house in Saanich.

Haynes says there is a housing crisis in Greater Victoria, and something needs to be done to combat that.

"So what this motion does, is asks Saanich Staff to bring back a report on how we can change the bylaw.  Maybe if there's five bedrooms, or six bedrooms, or seven bedrooms, an occupancy could be one individual per bedroom.  We have houses where there's seven, eight, nine, ten family members living in. Why is that different if they're students?"

Haynes says there are issues that can arise from having too many tenants, such as noise complaints, lack of upkeep on the properties, and parking, but says there are bylaws in place to address these problems.  He adds that noise complaints usually aren't linked to overcrowded houses, but parties on the weekend, which he says could come from both family homes, and rental properties, including the ones with the proper amount of tenants.

Haynes also wants to look at working with UVic, to make sure students living off campus live up to the "Off Campus Code of Conduct."  He says 18,000 students attend UVic every year, and they all contribute to the local economy.  He says students face a lot of stress from school, and they shouldn't have to be stressed out because of their living situation.

"Not only is there a housing crisis, but there's a persistence of fear in the student population, where they may have five or six people in there to help with affordability, to help with the scarcity of accommodation, so they're living in fear.  That is not healthy for students who are coming to our campus, dealing with the stress of their classes, and they've got this fear and stress. So there's two issues here, there's mental health, and there's a housing issue."

He adds there is also a financial issue.  The house that the three students were evicted from is now vacant, because the remaining four students could no longer afford the rent.

Haynes says he and de Vries will present their report on Monday at the Council Meeting, and expects they will send staff out to examine the bylaw in detail.  He says the bylaw is doing what it was intended to do, but it is also linked to the housing, finance and mental health crisis, and needs to be changed.

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