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Port Coquitlam grandma looks for RV as temporary housing in tight rental market

What would you do if you were looking for affordable housing in a hurry? Here's what one woman did and it seems to have worked.
0218-PoCoCampers 1w
A camper van along Kebet Way in Port Coquitlam.

A Port Coquitlam mom was so desperate for housing she put out a call to a community Facebook page for help finding an RV for temporary housing.

She didn't find exactly what she was looking for and even RVs seemed to be out of reach, but the grandmother recently thanked the community for their support.

"'I'm meeting up with someone tomorrow regarding temporary housing. I have the community to thank for that," wrote the woman, whose name is not being published for privacy reasons.

One person even volunteered to pay to put her up in a hotel until she can find housing.

The woman had been given notice to vacate her unit this week and is on a list for public housing but nothing is expected to become available until mid-May, the woman wrote on social media.

However, the woman told the Tri-City News that she's moving in with another family temporarily.

While it appears her accommodation issues are resolved for now, and her daughter and children have also found temporary housing, too, her story resonates with many in this supercharged rental housing market.

According to Point2, an international real estate search portal, Port Coquitlam and Maple Ridge are among B.C. cities with the lowest vacancy rates (under 3.4 per cent).

In a 10-year study, Point2 puts PoCo at 96th on the list of 150 cities, behind Coquitlam and Port Moody. The study measures vacancy rate changes over the past decade.

CHEAP RENTS HARD TO FIND

The study suggests that the city has seen a drop in vacancy rates from four per cent to three per cent, as the population has grown to 61,498 people.

However, a quick search of Craigslist over the past week shows that there are places to rent — but few are what you might call affordable.

In more than 30 listings, roughly $1,500 to $1,700 was being charged for a one-bedroom unit, $2,000 to $2,200 for two bedrooms and $2,400 to $3,400 for three bedrooms.

An entire house on Coquitlam Avenue was available for $2,700 and a fully furnished one-bedroom off Coast Meridian Road was being rented at $1,100, the cheapest rents offered during the past week.