The West Coast real estate bloom has been a cause for celebration or consternation depending on the condition of one's pocketbook. Rental properties are rapidly becoming unaffordable, never mind the thought of ever owning even a modest house or condominium.
Renters are staying put. As soon as a longtime renter moves out of our building, the price of their former apartment skyrockets to match market demand. When asked, an informed source replied that the prices had to rise to keep up with the market. Huh? Why? Why do prices need to escalate?! The simple reason is... greed; profit margin. Management companies make more money for themselves and the owners. The possibility of moving to a cheaper rental unit within the same rapidly aging building to save some money in a very tight budget is made impossible by management companies jacking up prices as soon as someone leaves. Shifting between units in buildings has been prohibited by several local management companies. Rent increases for the past five years have been set to the highest allowable limit permitted by law.
Brentwood Bay United Church
The money from the sale (also not disclosed) will be going to the presbytery, which oversees (UCC) churches throughout Greater Victoria to Duncan. As one commenter noted, the property "could have been (but wasn't) redeveloped as much needed subsidized housing, perfect spot easy to school, stores, drs, etc."
Fairfield United Church
The church went on the market in February at $1.24 million. (Rev. Beth) Walker did not disclose the selling price, but said it topped the asking price. Proceeds will go toward supporting the church in its new (hoped-for) space, she said. (Let's hope that the Fairfield United Church community still believes in prayer. Otherwise, the tentative nature of their "investment" could lead to bitter disappointment.)
Minister of Brentwood Bay United Church David Drake said the decision to close (Brentwood UCC) came down to a sustainability issue.
"So I think a lot of the leadership has to change, a lot of the way we look at the world has to change, and so it’s going to be a couple of years of exploration and experimenting and a lot of research," he said.
The Fairfield United Church (building) has been sold to a local developer, but the congregation hopes to remain on site with space in the new proposal. ("The congregation hopes to remain on site... ." That phrase tends to cast doubt on the viability of the community's plan, or at the very least contradicts the apparent confidence of the community's leaders.)
Declining congregation numbers, maintenance costs and anticipated upgrades prompted the church to put the property, at 1303 Fairfield Rd., up for sale, the church said on its website.
The long-term sustainability of the Fairfield United congregation is challenged by many things, including decreases in congregation membership and substantial costs of property maintenance and anticipated upgrades. However, we are actively seeking ways to continue being the “spirited heart of Fairfield” in a financially sustainable way. ( 1. That "spirited heart" seems to be suffering from clogged arteries of late; 2. the ROCOR parish in Fairfield might object to the UCC claim to being the heart of the community.)