Would you like to subscribe to our newsletters?

HOUSING CRISIS: Kamloops mom’s daily grind, living paycheque to paycheque

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Shutterstock

A small business owner and single mother of two is feeling the squeeze of housing costs during an ongoing housing crisis, with no relief in sight. 

Chasity Myhre of Kamloops is happily housed and working full time but living paycheque to paycheque is causing her constant daily stress.

“If I get sick I won’t be able to pay my bills,” she said. “As a single mom I have to work as much as I possibly can just to barely get by.”

She works long hours at her business but is not able to get ahead financially, paying around 50% of her income on rent, plus a vehicle payment, fuel and the ever-rising cost of groceries.

She worries constantly about the financial future for her family.

“I will never be able to save up for a down payment on a home of my own, pay off my debt or even begin to think about helping my kids with college or saving for retirement. I like what I do but the work life balance I have has not allowed me to be the mother that I want to be for my kids and it has put a lot of strain on my mental health,” she said. “I work for myself and I also do contract work.”

READ MORE: B.C. government to bring in rental changes, supply laws to boost housing

Myhre and her kids live in a top floor of a house and pay $2,400 plus utilities for a three bedroom.

She doesn’t have room to store anything and much of her belongings are piled up in totes, but she feels fortunate to have the rental.

“A lot of people have it a lot worse,” she said. “We lucked out and got the first place we looked at and we have nice landlords. I don’t want to make it sound like I’m really suffering, I’m just not getting ahead in life at all and if I was to get sick I wouldn’t be able to come up with next month’s rent.”

READ MORE: HOUSING CRISIS: Kamloops mom and kids in rough place after losing home

She said a recent separation and draining all her savings to survive has left her without a safety net. 

“We don’t go without but there is no way I can afford to take my kids anywhere, I feel like I’ve worked my whole life and there is not a lot to show for it," she said. "I’m not able to put anything aside for the future or for a safety net, it is incredibly stressful.”

Myhre said the cost of living in Kamloops is “outrageous” and suggests people start dropping rental prices or the government put a cap on rental costs.

“I’m grinding as much as possible but I feel like I’m going around in circles,” she said. “I don’t know how even two people bringing in a wage can make it right now.”

Born and raised in Kamloops, Myhre said moving to another city or province in search of more affordable housing is not a reasonable option.

“I would relocate to another town but I’ve built up my clientele here now and my mental health would really suffer if I left everything I’ve ever known," she said. “It isn’t that easy, maybe if I had a partner I could do it, but I think life would be lonely if I just picked up and left.”

Myhre said she knows many other families who are struggling and wants them to know they are not alone. 

According to Statistics Canada data from the 2021 census released Sept. 21, more than one-third of renters in Kamloops paid more than 30% of their income on rental costs.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Ainslie or call 250-819-6089 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above.