Rental concerns for Barrie residents affected by tornado

According to a local real estate agent, residents who were impacted by the tornado and now looking for short-term rentals in Barrie are going to have a hard time.

 “You’re going to see hundreds and hundreds of people displaced, and the question is where do they go,” said Evan Persyko, real estate agent with Right at Home Realty.

 With 67 homes deemed unsafe by the city alone, combined with sky-high prices and limited supply, Persyko says it could lead to a housing crisis.

 “There are really no rentals on the market to accommodate this influx of people,” Persyko said. “The supply is very low we need people who have vacant properties to reach out and lets find these people homes.”

 Persyko says the last time he checked, there were only around 40 listings in the city, ranging from $800 to $25,000 a month.

 For residents like Elisha Sullivan and her family, facing the possibility of having to find a short-term rental is daunting.

 “I’m petrified, I really am,” said Sullivan. “The evening that we were homeless with essentially nothing, the only thing I found online was an Airbnb for $1,700 a night.”

 Since the twister hit, they haven’t been allowed in their home, which was signifcantly damaged.

 “We have some pretty extensive damage in the kitchen from water, so the kitchen ceiling is coming through,” Sullivan said.

“Now we are just waiting for the engineer to find out if we can stay or not.”

 With people looking to get back in their homes as quickly as possible, the Insurance Bureau of Canada is warning residents against scammers.

 “Touch base with your insurance representative if the person or contractor who has come to your home to sell you a service is a reputable one,” said IBC Media Relations person Vanessa Barrasa.

 As for rentals, Persyko says with such low inventory, people may be forced to look outside the city.

 Which means not only could some lose their homes but also their community.