Students rally for rent control in Regina

Class projects ends up in front of legislature


University of Regina social work students organized a rally for rent control in front of the Saskatchewan legislature on Tuesday. Holly Warkentine, of the Social Work Students’ Society told the Regina Leader-Post that the protest had grown out of a class project. “We all just felt like it’s an issue that is out of control. There’s many students, obviously, that are affected by it so we felt like it was important to bring the issue to the people and see that something is hopefully done about it,” she said.

Another student, Grayson Engel, told the paper how his rent had from $865 to $1,100 in three years. “I’m still a student. Every summer I make the same amount of money that I was making before. It’s pretty difficult to work towards paying off student loans and affording that extra little bit every year,” he said. The rally attracted approximately 75 people, including members of the opposition NDP who have made rent control part of their platform for November’s election.

Defending the Saskatchewan Party government’s position was minister of social services June Draude who said that if a cap was placed on rental rates, developers would be discouraged from investing in the province. “There are developers that are interested because we have more people, because the province is growing, because we know that there’s opportunities here and they know that we’re not talking about rent control,” she said.

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Students rally for rent control in Regina

  1. So we’re encouraging big business to come to our city and charge us outrageous amounts of money to rent??? This is the problem, big business is the problem!! Rent control is NEEDED, especially when a single employed male at minimum wage cannot afford a one bedroom and afford to eat at the same time. I think the needs of the people, matter a lot more than the needs of the business sector. Renters should not be footing the bill for big business to move to our city!! This whole debate disgusts me, the people should be first, not last!!

    • Totally agree! It disgusts me too, especially since it effects those who are already marginalized the most.

  2. I agree, Preston. I keep hearing the Saskatchewan is growing. What does this mean? To me, it means more people come here which means more jobs are needed. So what do we need in order to accommodate those new people? Housing, of course. But we also need more jobs. So we build more stores with more stuff (that we really don’t need.) So now all of these people drive up the cost of living for everyone else. My rent went up last year from $765 to $865 (~13%). The property management company’s excuse? They paid to have a market study done, to determine what everyone else was charging. Just because everyone else is charging too much, doesn’t mean they should. But, without rent control, they can.

    Where did their increase in expenses come from? My salary didn’t increase 13%. According to the Canadian Consumer Price Index, there wasn’t a 13% increase in cost of living. So why? Because they can. They make the argument of needing to make repairs and upgrades. Anyone who had taken on the responsibility of owning property with the intention of renting, should have done the math to determine what it was going to cost to keep the property up to living standards. This includes the maintenance and repairs, property tax, etc. Sure these costs do increase, just not 13%. So we pay them already, and they want us to pay them more so they can upgrade their property?

    No rent control is a reason for people to purchase rental property in Saskatchewan so they can raise the rent as much as they want, for a variety of reasons–maybe they suddenly need more money to sustain a lifestyle of poor choices–gambling, credit card debt, etc.

    In the end, the real problem is there are too many people. And people are greedy. We use real estate as a means of profit. Do you go out to the grocery store, buy up a bunch of food, and then re-sell it to make a profit? I think not. Do you buy food large amounts of water, in hopes of some day a bank will tell you that it’s worth more, so you can sell it for a profit? I haven’t heard of anyone doing that. The financial institutions are the ones that keep making the push for people to buy & sell, buy & sell, so they can make money. If no one was borrowing money, they wouldn’t make money. Same with cars. Everyone wants us to buy stuff and be in debt. Is this why we are here? Is this why the majority of us work full time? To support the economic system? Do you really need to buy a new house? What was wrong with the one you were in? Do you need bigger? 99.9% of the time a house is bought and sold, it is sold for more, which means the costs just keep going up.

    Okay. I’m done.

  3. Totally agree with the above comments. What does it mean that Saskatchewan is “booming” is no one can afford to live here. And what does it mean to be a “have” province, when the people in the province have not. The argument that developers are coming here to build is ridiculous, are these developers really coming here to build some affordable housing?? Give me a break. I am sick of people who don’t rent telling people who do rent (most likely in that position because they cannot afford to buy) that there shouldn’t be rent control. Manitoba has it, and they are doing fine with growth.

  4. If you study microeconomics course, you quickly find out that rent controls don’t work.

    Rent control sounds like a great idea, in theory, but in practice, it doesn’t work very well. With rent control, you end up with fewer rental properties, since people get out of the rental business. That makes it much, much harder to find a place to live.

    I don’t pretend to have an answer to affordable housing (subsidies for students, perhaps?), but rent control in not the answer.

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