Don’t Put My Friend In Jail For Owning a Home #YQRcc

Good evening Mr. Mayor, and City Council,

I’m John Klein, here to represent myself, and to appeal to you to repeal the Rooming House bylaw from 1992 that appeared in the news suddenly in April and May 2013 for being enforced upon unsuspecting homeowners around the city. One of those people is my friend Adam. Please don’t send my friend to jail, or fine him any amount of money, for simply living in a home where he rents bedrooms to a very reasonable number of roommates.

The rental housing situation in Regina has been dire for a number of years as you all well know. This 21 year old law’s time has long since passed, and should be repealed before it has a further chilling effect on the number of rooms being made available for rent. The enforcement attempt this Spring was bad enough, sowing fear and confusion into the lives of people already struggling to afford safe housing.

The only market solution for the affordability of housing in our city is for the housing supply to increase, or the demand to drop. Assuming that you’re aiming at increasing the population in Regina by more than 100% within the next 25 years, obviously demand is not set to drop. Therefore your bylaws should make it lawful for housing to increase in a safe and organized manner.

Adam’s home is safe, organized, and does not need the City breaking it up with an outdated and counterproductive bylaw. The bylaw outlawing Rooming Houses, or what would more commonly today be referred to as simply a “shared house”, is not needed. It’s a very normal thing to do, and if you’re an average young person in Regina, (which indelicately I’ll point out does not describe anyone sitting on Council) you cannot afford a mortgage without either marrying or otherwise sharing the cost with others (renters).

Besides harassing responsible, tax paying homeowners, couldn’t this Rooming Houses bylaw also inhibit people’s ability to open up their homes to visitors during Grey Cup? I’m opposed to a bylaw that restricts a homeowner’s freedom to open their home generously to the homeless, whether people are homeless from loss of income, or loss of their physical home through political or natural disasters like the sort seen recently in Calgary and Alberta.

Thank-you for your time, and consideration.

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This was to be read to Council in July, but they pushed back the decision to fix the ’92 bylaw until September. I presume this is to write the bylaws for Options 2 or 3, since Option 1 would take no additional months to implement. I’m opposed to homeowners having to seek a city permit to share their home. The delay until after hundreds or thousands of students move to Regina for the Fall semester into potentially outlawed housing arrangements is a further affront to those sincerely attempting to seriously improve the housing situation of our city.

Please read Paul D.’s summary of the public consultation thus far.
You can see some of the video about what kind of bigotry vs. constructive ideas were heard several weeks ago.

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About John Klein

My full time blog is at AbandonedStuff.com My personal site devoted to my Regina politics work is at JohnKlein.ca