The Cowichan Valley will need an additional 5,000 housing units by 2025 to keep up with demand, according to a new report. (File photo)

The Cowichan Valley will need an additional 5,000 housing units by 2025 to keep up with demand, according to a new report. (File photo)

Cowichan simply doesn’t have enough homes for growing population

5,000 new housing units needed by 2025 according to CVRD report

The supply of housing in the Cowichan Valley is not keeping pace with demand, especially in rental housing, according to a report on the housing needs in the region.

The report, prepared by MODUS Planning, Engagement, and Design and the Cowichan Housing Association for the Cowichan Valley Regional District, also concluded that there is a misalignment in housing costs and regional wages in the Valley.

The 93-page document, called the Regional Housing Needs Assessment Report, is intended to help the CVRD understand what kinds of housing are most needed in the region’s communities now and in the future, which will help with the district’s official community plan and development decisions.

RELATED STORY: B.C. HOUSING MARKET TO REMAIN VIBRANT THROUGH THE NEW YEAR: REPORT

The report said that between 2019 and 2025, the CVRD is expected to grow to about 92,000 people, which would represent a population growth of 15 per cent in six years.

It said that by 2025, it’s projected that the CVRD will need an additional 5,000 units of housing, with most of them being one-bedroom units, as households with one person and households with one couple will be in high demand.

“Our engagement with the community indicated a desire for smaller and more affordable housing units to answer concerns around unaffordability and mobility challenges,” the report said.

“Possible solutions include densification through land-sharing opportunities, secondary suite allowances, increased multi-family dwellings, manufactured home parks and tiny homes.”

RELATED STORY: B.C. PROPERTY VALUES WENT UP 4.2% IN 2020 AS MOST HOMEOWNERS SEE ‘MODERATE INCREASES’

The report said from 2016 to 2019, prices for homes increased considerably each year in the Cowichan Valley.

“This is beneficial for homeowner households, but detrimental to aspiring homeowners and suggests that, since 2016, the region’s supply of available land has been insufficient to meet growing demand,” the report stated.

“Housing demand in the CVRD is therefore expected to continue to increase as market factors push more households to seek affordable accommodation in the Cowichan Valley.”

The report said that all data sources suggest that the CVRD is also in a state of acute rental shortage, with almost no vacancies in the region.

It said that in most jurisdictions in the CVRD, the majority of renter households making less than approximately $45,000 per year spend more than 30 per cent of their annual income on housing expenses, and the majority of renter households making less than approximately $25,000 per year spend more than 50 per cent of their annual income on housing expenses, which doesn’t meet affordability standards.

“Engagement results identified a need for more rental options, including more purpose-built rentals to meet housing challenges in the CVRD, especially for young families, youth, Indigenous people, those with mental health challenges, singles and seniors,” the report said.

RELATED STORY: HOUSING SHORTAGE SHOWING ITS TEETH AFTER NORTH ISLAND APARTMENT FIRE

The report said that despite working full-time or contributing to a dual-income household, many feel that average to high incomes are no longer sufficient to rent in the Cowichan region, let alone purchase a home.

“Across the CVRD, after inflation is removed from the analysis, median household incomes decreased from $73,455 in 2006 to $69,863 in 2016,” it said.

“Due to housing costs in their communities, residents are relocating to other, more affordable communities that are further from their jobs. As a result, some may have long commutes, be more reliant on personal vehicles or be limited in future job opportunities due to public transit constraints.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Housing

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
NTC president calls for ‘massive change’ after Indigenous woman shot by police in Hitacu

“We need to get to the root of what is actually happening with the RCMP and our communities”

Hotel Zed Tofino has won a Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Commercial Building Award. (Westerly file photo)
Hotel Zed Tofino wins commercial building award

Vancouver Island Real Estate Board holds virtual gala.

The District of Ucluelet is fast-tracking temporary use permits for RVs/campervans as seasonal housing. (Westerly file photo)
Ucluelet reviews 11 applications for RVs as seasonal housing

“Housing is so essential to everyone, and an issue that cases a lot of stress to business owners.”

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)
Mom still hopeful for Island man who left care six months ago, hasn’t been seen since

Support from community, police keeps search alive for Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

A map of Huu-ay-aht-owned forestry cutblock. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
B.C. First Nations restrict access to territory in wake of forestry standoffs

Huu-ay-aht set up checkpoints after heated and dangerous incidents on southwest Vancouver Island

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Most Read