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

Sandy Carmichael is a Goldstream Gazette 2021 Local Hero as Seniors’ Champion. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Worker bee returns to volunteer: Sandy Carmichael a fixture at Langford Royal Canadian Legion

Sandy Carmichael is the 2021 recipient of the Seniors’ Champion Award

The It’s Critical campaign has raised $5.89 million towards its $7 million goal to expand critical care capacity at Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital. (Black Press Media file photo)
Critical care improvements make the list with Greater Victoria shoppers

Save-On-Foods pledges $300,000 to Victoria Hospitals Foundation’s It’s Critical campaign

West Shore Parks and Recreation facilities face a challenging future in terms of funding, due to reduced operations throughout the pandemic. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore Parks and Recreation faces challenging future

West Shore Parks and Recreation Society submits 2021 budget request to owner municipalities

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon to listen to speakers decry COVID-19 restrictions. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
PHOTOS: Victoria residents protest masks, COVID-19 restrictions

Approximately 100 people gathered in Centennial Square Saturday afternoon

Saskatoon resident liajah Pidskalny poses with his bike near the University of Victoria after putting on thousands of kilometres to raise awareness of the overdose and mental health crisis. (Courtesy Iliajah Pidskalny)
Saskatoon cyclist winds up mental health and overdose awareness ride in Victoria

Iliajah Pidskalny braves prairie winter conditions to get word out to communities

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

Most Read