Justice Minister Frank Quennell told reporters at a press conference yesterday that the “issue of decreasing rent supply…is an emergency. By the time you realize that it’s a crisis and that you’ve significantly decreased the rental supply because of all of the rental accommodation that’s been taken off them market, there really isn’t a remedy for that – and that’s why we’re encouraging the city (of Saskatoon) to use the powers that they have to correct an emergency situation while we look at everything.” Quennell pointed to “condo conversions” as at least partly to blame for the low supply of rental properties available in Saskatoon and recommended that our local government “freeze” conversions for the time being.
Mayor Don Atchison disagrees that a condo freeze is the answer and points out that condo conversions have affected less than one percent of Saskatoon apartments.Atchison expressed concerns about potential lawsuits which could result from a moratorium, and also the potential for creating a disincentive for developers who might otherwise consider building Saskatoon apartments.
Quennell suggested that rent control, higher supplements for people on assistance and even new legislation are all possible actions which are “on the table for discussion.”
Read the Star Phoenix coverage here
Read John Gormley’s “Housing latest political football” here
You may recall that in April Premier Lorne Calvert stepped forward to “take the credit” for the housing boom which ultimately led to this “crisis.” It will indeed be interesting to see if the NDP government can find their way out of this mess prior to the provincial election next spring.
See a Google map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate “areas” here Data collection and calculation for our statistical reports I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email. Norm Fisher Royal LePage Vidorra