Housing crisis worsening

One construction worker building homes in southern Vancouver Island has opened up about his living condition, which is a paradox to the work he's doing.

Andrew Tyrell, a trades worker in Sooke, said he spent the past two years living in a space about 200 square feet in size with his wife and three kids.

"It was a camper on a friend's property, and that's the best we could get," Tyrell told CTV.

"It's a bit depressing, being able to build the walls but not getting the roof."

The vacancy rate in Sooke is 1.3 per cent, and like much of the South Island where a building boom is ongoing, the population growth — at 13.7 per cent — largely outpaces vacancy. 

Another contractor in Sooke said one his part-time employees sleeps in a utility shed at the job site.

Former Sooke councillor Herb Haldane, who is contractor himself, said he is helping his staff find places to live "all the time."

He added that communities in the region need to take a more innovative approach to combat the housing crisis and zone land for tiny homes and affordable housing.

"Thirty per cent of their income isn't enough for housing here, and that's for renting. So forget about home ownership," he said to CTV.

- with files from CTV Vancouver Island

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