Brianna Pascoe has penned a letter to B.C. Premier David Eby after the strata in her Duncan condo building voted to enact a 55-plus age restriction bylaw.
“I am now a 30-year-old stuck in a retirement building,” Pascoe said, reading from her letter. “I no longer have a nice little stepping stone for my future.”
The vote was 19 to four in favour of the bylaw change.
The letter is asking Eby to close what she calls a loophole created by recent changes made to the Strata Property Act.
“Condo buildings that weren’t previously 55-plus, they have been allowed to change to a 55-plus building to avoid having to enact the changes he’s put in place,” said Pascoe.
Tony Gioventu, executive director of the Condominium Homeowners Association of BC, says there’s a reason why some stratas may be making a similar move.
“Strata corporations have kind of moved towards 55 and over bylaws in some cases because it gives them a smaller kind of rental target,” he said.
That change leads to a smaller rental pool, one that is guaranteed to be 55-plus.
Gioventu says a few hundred stratas in the province have already taken this step.
“I had purchased the unit in hopes of it being a nice little stepping stone,” Pascoe told CTV News.
She now feels the value of her unit has been compromised.
“In my opinion, it definitely impacts market value negatively,” said Marko Juras, a realtor with Fair Realty.
He says because the changes to the Strata Act are so new, hard data doesn’t yet exist. He is seeing condos with the 55-plus restriction in place selling for five to 10 per cent below market value.
However, the Condominium Homeowners Association disagrees, saying the housing shortage is keeping sale prices stable.
“We have such a housing shortage, we’re not seeing that at all,” said Gioventu.
B.C.’s premier says changes are coming to the Strata Act.
“We’re currently doing the policy work,” said Eby. “We will be doing amendments to address this issue of people who live in buildings that then convert to 55-plus.”
What those changes will be, the premier isn’t saying yet.
“I just feel like I’m living in limbo,” said Pascoe.
For now, Pascoe is going to have to wait and see if those changes will effect her future plans and the investment she has made.