Thursday, October 01, 2009

Come on Edmonton - "Suite-n" up the deal

I own several properties and currently provide some affordable housing. I'd like the opportunity to provide more affordable housing by suiting some of my properties.

I tried to apply for a grant to put a suite into a property of mine but was summarily rejected because I am not an owner-occupant.

Why? Why? Why?

Our friend Tim summed it up nicely. People don't want their neighborhoods getting messed up with a bunch of rental properties with suites. Really who can more effectively manage suites a landlord with experience or a home-owner who will give it a shot and then learn the hard way about tenant issues?

Chances are the investor/landlord with 10-20-30-40 homes has more skill in operating a rental that an owner-occupier. This also paves the way for better communication and less disputes between lower income tenants and owners.

The grant should be expanded to allow owners who don't reside in the prospective houses a chance to "suite"up. We can avoid tent-city as a greater amount of affordable housing will be created.

A primary owner-occupant is limited to only one home to work with whereas an landlord who owns multiple property, has the ability to reach more people by providing more suites.

Am I seriously being punished for providing housing?

If I spend my own money to put in a suite and the risks associated with it, I should be fairly compensated for that risk. That may equate to a 1 bedroom being rented for $875 at market rent.

If I were to go the route of the grant I could reduce my costs and risk, and provide housing at a reduced rent - the same suite could be rented for $721 per month, thus filling the need for affordable housing.

I own many properties that qualify for the grant, image the impact I'd have on the community compared to one owner-occupier.

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