"We need three people currently living in vehicles, on couches, in woodsheds (yes I have heard that this is true in more than one case), AND three people who might be willing to open their homes," wrote Lisa Helps.

Victoria City Council might be putting an end to Airbnb’s era in the city, but it appears Mayor Lisa Helps hasn’t taken home-sharing off the table.

In a June 13th blog post, Helps announced that she’ll be “working with a group of citizens and businesses to develop one possible solution [to the rental crisis].”

“We need three people currently living in vehicles, on couches, in woodsheds (yes I have heard that this is true in more than one case), AND three people who might be willing to open their homes,” wrote Helps.

That group of volunteers, if it materializes, will be invited to a short focus group session, no commitment required.

The program’s goal is to find a solution for those struggling to find rental accommodation.

Renting through the ages

From 1982-2012, no purpose-built rental buildings were built in Victoria. That, coupled with a hot housing market and a 6000-person influx over the past five years, has left renters reeling.

“What if there was a way to connect people living in vehicles, in motel rooms, on couches, with seniors living in large houses all alone, with retirees with an extra bedroom, or even with families with large houses and extra rooms.” Helps mused.

She also mentioned the Times Colonist‘s calls to Victorians to open their doors to homeless war workers in the 1940s. “They didn’t call it the “sharing economy”,” wrote Helps. “They didn’t charge anything, they just opened up their spare bedrooms and invited strangers in.”

 

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