A Housing Needs and Demands Assessment for the City of Revelstoke has been completed.
The report looks at demographics of the city’s population as well as average incomes and other factors that qualify the need for different types of housing in the area.
“There is a strong need for all forms of housing in this community, except for single-family detached,” said Nigel Whitehead, director of development services, upon presenting the report to City Council.
According to the report, which uses Statistics Canada and BC Assessment data as well as information gathered through a community survey and interviews with housing stakeholders, the city needs 208 more subsidized housing units with users paying between $125 and $438 per month and 216 more either rentals between $563 and $1,375 per month or units for purchase between $193,000 and $326,000.
The report says, that at the moment, the city has a surplus of 430 units that are accessible only to those with moderate to high income. Those property values fall in the range of $1,625 to $3,000 per month rent and $385,000 to $711,00 for purchase.
These numbers were calculated based on a person spending 30 per cent of their before-tax income on housing.
With a projected population growth of 0.5 per cent per year, or 991 people in the next 25 years, which is what the Ministry of Health anticipates for the area, Revelstoke would need 28 more dwellings affordable for people with a low income, 144 more dwellings affordable for mid income residents and 259 more dwellings for high income residents, on top of the numbers already needed.
However, Whitehead said that the population growth estimate is conservative. City planning has used a one per cent growth estimate in calculating the Development Cost Charges.
Mike Thomas, director of engineering said he believes that the Ministry of Health looks at births and deaths when it comes to projected population growth, where as the city looks at people potentially moving to the city.
Another area where the report is indicating something different than was previously believed, was the median income of households in Revelstoke, which was $74,000. However, the report also indicates that 41.5 per cent of individuals make less than $29,999 per year and that 29 per cent of people in the city have a household size of one (they either live alone or they do not share income with the people they live with).
Whitehead said that further study needs to be taken to better understand these numbers.
Even with questions about the average incomes and the projected population growth, Whitehead said that this document will be important for housing grant applications.
“What it does provide is an essential document that really is the cornerstone for developing a robust affordable housing program,” he said.
The document will also help city planners inform developers of the demand in the community in order to create alternative housing.
The report was compiled by Dillon Consulting with city staff oversight and was funded by the Columbia Basin Trust.