Happipad connects fire victims with new rental leads

Rentals are hard to come by, but one local company is trying to make it easier …

More than 100 Kelowna residents who were forced into the rental market when their condo building burned down met this week with men and women offering hope for some security in the days to come.

The residents of the Water’s Edge condominium will likely be out of the homes they own for anywhere from one to three years. The residents of the 11 units at the Walnut Grove motel next door don’t know if they’ll ever get to return to the cheap lodgings they once called home.

All are very unsure of what the future holds, which is what made the meeting set up by Happipad—a recently launched online marketplace matching renters and landlords—a bright light in an otherwise dark period.

Happipad made a call to property managers and even people renting basement suites or carriage houses to meet this Monday.

RELATED: FOCUS TURNS TO MOVING FORWARD FOR WATER’S EDGE RESIDENTS

“We got everyone into the room and we ran it like a job fair or a speed dating event,” said Cailan Libby, who launched Happipad with his partner just a week ago.

“We had tables set up for property managers and the (prospective renters) all went around and communicated with them and established a relationship.”

That interaction was exactly what he was hoping for. Kelowna’s tight rental market was daunting to those who had already lost so much.

And, said Libby, the people who have places to rent are often cautious with who they consider.

RELATED: FUTURE UNCERTAIN FOR WALNUT GROVE RESIDENTS

“Everyone loved the event—I didn’t hear one negative comment,” said Libby, noting that the room they held the event was overflowing with people.

It’s unclear how many rental connections were made as of yet, but Libby said he expects to hear something in the days ahead.

He knows of one Walnut Grove resident who was afraid he’d never find a place to live who now has a lead on an affordable basement suite.

Libby also knows that he wants to hold an event of this kind again.

“There are a lot of issues related to renting in our community,” he said. “We want to be fair with the tenants and the property owners. We want to be the facilitators from two sides.”

Happipad has been in production for the last year. The beta version has been launched with a focus on the Okanagan, but there are plans for it to spread beyond local borders, going as far as the USA.

“Most people have said this is what people have been waiting for,” he said. “My business partner and I are engineers and we want to solve problems.”

The fire department has yet to offer up the reason for the fire but residents believe that it’s due to a construction incident on the parking garage floor of the neighbouring building.

Just Posted

Lake Country’s old highway piling up with garbage

Cleanup efforts are being planned for garbage found along Pelmewash Parkway

Peachland seniors keeping active this fall

Senior’s group south of Kelowna has plenty going on if you are over 55

Truck fire forces evacuation of Lake Country gas station

No one was injured as firefighters quickly contained blaze at the Shell on Sunday afternoon

Gas leak contained near Lakeshore Road

Ruptured line was quickly contained Sunday morning by Kelowna Fire Department

High winds cause havoc for sailors

Kelowna Fire Department assists boats with broken masts on Okanagan Lake

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Letterkenny stars take their act to the Okanagan

The stars of the Crave TV original series Letterkenny will be performing in Kelowna

Brantley Gilbert to take The Ones That Like Me 2018 Tour to Kelowna

With Rolling Stone citing Devil Don’t Sleep Best of 2017, it’s gonna rock

Letter: Questioning thinking of Kelowna city council

Kelowna letter writer says the Green Square development shouldn’t get another chance at council

Rockets raise money for autism

Western Hockey League club hosts third annual Family Day Sunday in Kelowna

Family worries about missing Malakwa woman

Discovery of human remains has put family members on edge

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

A golden opportunity

Orthodontist offers sweet deal for the pocketbook

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

Most Read