3rd Regina Solar Co-op founding meeting

On Monday I was pleased to attend the 3rd meeting held in Regina with the objective of forming a solar power co-operative. By late November, there should be money in the bank, and a lot more research complete, which will assist interested Saskatchewanians with setting up solar power systems of their own.

Here’s a CBC radio interview with one of the organizers.

Check how much you could save, while paying off a warrantied solar array that will function long after you’ve made an important home improvement.

Regina Solar Co-op meeting at Artful Dodger on 11th Ave.

3rd? Yes, there’ve been 2 meetings this Winter, but I’m counting one meeting put together by Susan Birley last Winter as the first.

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#HousingFirst is in #Regina, but not yet Universal

With improved health and social outcomes so drastic, it’s really unethical for governments to deny Housing First to some people, while providing it to some others.

YQR 360- Turning Homelessness Around

Coinciding with the 5 Days for the Homeless charity fundraiser, was another event at the University of Regina Friday afternoon. I caught the last half of it for you, and there were some really interesting comments from the audience and panel members.

University of Regina

University of Regina

When they were mentioning food banks, I felt like pointing out how grocery stores in Regina compact their trash, which actually contains hundreds of pounds of unexpired and edible food. The Food Bank didn’t usually send volunteers to pick up surplus bread products from a local grocery store (before it closed permanently 2 years ago).

https://www.facebook.com/events/397742930397930/

Rooming Houses are Gone #YQRcc

City Council last night voted to limit their regulation of what were known as Owner Occupied “rooming houses” to those places rented out for fewer than 30 days. This restores the status quo Regina has experienced for more than a decade, as people felt free to rent to room-mates without licenses (while they were technically in violation of a bylaw that could put them in jail for a year for doing so!). Now there will be no more bylaw restricting this sort of use in a private dwelling, so hopefully housing supply will not suffer.

Here’s one delegation filed:

Mayor and Council,

I would like to recommend that the Rooming House definition be dropped from the city bylaws. I was an international student from Thailand but now am a permanent resident of Canada studying at the University of Regina and know many other international students that have come here from abroad to study.

For many students living in a Rooming House have been a necessity based on price of rent and availability of housing. I have known several students that have lived in a home with the homeowner and it has always been a good situation for them.

Removal of this bylaw definition will allow many of my friends to stay living where they are and carrying on with their studies.

Thank you,
Lakkana Piewkhaow

Rooming Houses Now Homestay #YQRcc

To be read to City Council Tuesday evening:

Good evening Your Worship, and Councillors:

Months ago I was prepared to deliver a different delegation on the subject of the Rooming House bylaw, where I would have asked you to repeal the bylaw so my friend would not be under threat of jail time for sharing space in his home with other Regina residents. I’m very pleased to instead say I support the recommendations from the Administration in their report on Homestays, and ask you to vote in favour of it.

ADDED: The video and questions and answers. Links to the parking studies requested by Councillor Young are in the Video description.

MORE:

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.

==

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.