What else can you call a condo that has mattresses scattered all over
the floors and as many people crammed into them as will fit?
There are two overlooked groups of renters in these condo flop houses. The
first are new immigrants who may make less than the minimum wage and
work extremely long hours in ethnic restaurants, grocery stores and
Some of these residents are illegals and their "housing" is provided by
their employers; who own the condos as investments.
The other major group are students. The parents of the really rich
foreign students buy a condo for their sons or daughters to use while
they study at university but the middle class lease condos, often paying a full
year in advance.
The condo owners are often out of the country and are not around when
their tenants move in. The students often invite others to live in the
unit and share the costs. A fairly normal practice.
However, in some cases, the renters move out and they sell the unit's
FOBs and keys over the Internet to others. The ads state the condo's
address and the time remaining on the lease. Until the lease expires,
there is no telling who is living in these units or how often the unit
Walk-in closet advertised for $580 a month in downtown Vancouver
02 September 2016
A walk-in closet advertised for $580 a month is highlighting the
trouble university students face finding affordable rental housing in
The tiny space, which is described in the ad as a “den,” was posted to
a Facebook group for international students this week. The door of the
closet opens into a bedroom that’s rented by a couple, and another
tenant is living in a separate room.
In total, four people are currently paying rent in the two-bedroom,
two-bathroom apartment, though the ad does say heat and internet are
Unfortunately, the struggle to find decent and affordable housing in
Vancouver is one many University of British Columbia students know well.
Master’s student Dario Garousian said he went to see an $850 bachelor
suite in Kitsilano last weekend only to find a lineup of 40 people had
beaten him there.
“As soon as I saw that, I immediately thought that, well, I don’t think I have a chance,” Garousian said.
Another student told CTV News she viewed roughly 35 places in her
search for somewhere to live while pursuing her master’s in public
Though UBC has more campus housing than any other Canadian university,
with 11,000 dorms, there are still 5,000 students on the waitlist.
And given that the surrounding Vancouver neighbourhoods are home to
some of most expensive real estate in the city, many students are
forced to find accommodations further away, forcing them to spend more
on their commute.
“I’ll probably end up driving to school,” Garousian said.
UBC added 1,000 new spaces this year, and three more buildings with
1,400 dorms are expected to be completed in the next two years.