Visual Discussion: Key Issues in Cape Breton Housing?

Have you been impacted by any of these adverse factors related to housing in Cape Breton?

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What are some the adverse factors in either finding a suitable rental or home in Cape Breton? How does it impact decisions to stay, leave, or move here?
Business Economics & Statistics


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Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
> High Energy Costs (Oil, Electricity) > Old Homes / Energy Inefficient > Mortgage Qualification (EI, Social Assistance) > New Building Costs Too High > Landlord Home Investment Grab > Home Taxes Rise / Shrinking Tax Base > Repair Costs Too High > Update Costs (Asbestos, Wiring, Sewage, Structure) > Low Income Renters (No ROI for Upgrades) > Inadequate/Code Violating Rentals
Christian Murphy Follow Me
High energy costs are a major complaint of busy paying NS Power that it's difficult to find cash to put into efficiency or lower cost alternatives. As a home owner, seems I am a little stuck, soft housing market makes exiting difficult not to mention uprooting a whole family. In the end any decision will be driven by available opportunity. I love my life here but cash is king!
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
Actually, it's possible that an inability to leave may be one of the few effective strategies to diminish or delay outmigration. I'm here for family only. There is no business case for me living here, no inherent advantages that it provides in any way that I'm currently aware of. So while I'm here, I'll just do what I can to make my own way, and hopefully contribute to discussions on how we can all do a little (or a lot) better over time. :)
Richard Lorway Follow Me
High heating costs are definitely a challenge. Not to mention the highest property taxes in the province.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
And there are so many interconnected issues here that increase the problem in a cyclically compounding way. As people leave, the tax base shrinks. However, CBRM expenditures don't. We don't like layoffs, and we don't like not seeing wage increases. People are leaving at the rate to 450-500 student bearing families per year. As they leave, growth in the tax base either stagnates or contracts. Note: Lacking statistics here. Assumptive heuristic. The only way to fund the CBRM is to increase its revenues, as we may continue to see increased taxes. A secondary unmitigated factor is high energy costs, which are exacerbated in the many homes that are old and energy inefficient. Holding all other (and numerous) adverse economic factors aside, high energy costs and rising taxation further discourage home ownership here (even for new home builds). That builds a business case for leaving that it doesn't take an economist-type thinker to understand. They feel it every time they get an oil bill, a power bill, a tax notice, or have to book another trip to fly back out West, etc. And these are the factors that over time are so evident to people that they realize that moving is in their best interest, to make a better life, and that living in a depressed socioeconomic environment shouldn't be a requirement for patriotism to an island. Without digging down and doing the research and number crunching, I've pondered whether living as a snowbird for 6 months in Florida or other affordable destination outside Canada might actually be more cost effective than staying here during our highest energy consuming months of the year.
Joe Ward My Post Follow Me
In another discussion, I threw out some quick ideas on interventionary policy that *could* potentially help due positive things for the the housing market and potentially even building a stronger case to stay here or move here. For brainstorming purposes only: 1. 5-year zero housing tax on new builds for residents of Cape Breton for 3 years or more, who currently rent, and for whom it would be their primary dwelling. 2. CBRM guaranteed mortgage backing for mortgages under $150k. A rent-to-own sponsored arrangement to assist those with credit or work history impact due to local economic instability. Home surrendered on default. Equity accumulated provided back as a "new home purchase" or "home efficiency upgrade" *voucher* for expenditure with their next home in the CBRM. Otherwise, defaulted, and non-interest bearing. 3. 3-year zero housing tax for new homes built with a qualifying and code standard "income apartment". While making it more affordable and freeing up additional disposable income, it also creates lower cost rental accommodations for others not yet able to purchase. Must be built within x kilometers of population center. *** For item 2, it was pointed out that there are some similar programs in place. ***
kim sheppard Follow Me
We all know that landlords took advantage of the influx of international students leaving CBRM residents vulnerable to homelessness. We need a strategic plan for low income housing.

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