Sidney residents will learn more about local housing needs later this fall following completion of a housing needs assessment. (Rendering of building by de Hoof & Hlerulf architects)

Sidney to learn about housing needs later this fall

A 2016 report found ‘severe under supply of affordable, and market priced rental housing units’

Sidney residents could learn more about local housing needs as early as this month as a survey of local housing needs approaches its conclusion.

Corey Newcomb, Sidney’s senior manager for long range planning, said the consultant hired to assess local housing needs is expected to complete the project in late September or early October 2019.

Sidney hired Urban Matters CCC on June 25 as part of Official Community Plan (OCP) review, with the price tag being $28,870 (plus GST). A provincial grant worth $20,000 will cover two-thirds of the overall project.

Newcomb said the housing assessment promises to break new ground. “To my knowledge Sidney has not done a formal Housing Needs Assessment (HNA) on its own before,” he said. “However, in 2016 the Town did participate in a joint Saanich Peninsula HNA. Participants in that project were Sidney, North Saanich and Central Saanich, and the project was jointly funded by the CRD, BC Housing and CMHC.”

The report found a gap between supply and demand.

“Households with a low to moderate income ($30,000 to $49,999 per year) represent 17.6 per cent of the population of the [Peninsula] while housing options associated with this category only account for 1.6 per cent of the housing supply,” it reads, adding that many households falling into this category may be living off fixed incomes and own their own homes.

RELATED: Transit and housing an obstacle for Sidney business

Looking at this issue from the other end of the income spectrum, the reports finds 85 per cent of available housing stock requires a high income, yet just 30 per cent of the household earns enough to afford such housing.

To put this into raw numbers, the region has an excess supply of more 7,000 “high-income” housing units, and a shortage of 7,695 units for income levels below that. This shortage appears most acute for individuals with low incomes, low to moderate incomes, and moderate incomes, with a total shortage of 5,614 units.

The report also notes methodological gaps. “The lack of reliable and accurate rental market data make it difficult to make any observations based on the income categories associated with the rental market,” it reads. “Based on the rental market data that are available for Sidney, there appears to be a severe under supply of affordable, and market priced rental housing units available on the [Peninsula].”

Newcomb notes that the pending housing assessment responds to provincial legislation requiring housing needs assessments, as part of OCP reviews. Previously, the Local Government Act only required municipalities to include statements in their OCPs respecting “the approximate location, amount, type and density of residential development required to meet anticipated housing needs over a period of at least 5 years,” he said. “So the [province] is now asking municipalities to consider housing needs much more specifically than they did previously.”

Once completed, the report must appear before council in an open meeting with Sidney required to post the report publicly on it website.

Legislation requires municipalities to undertake an HNA every five years.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Barbecue cooks up benefits for Movember foundation

Father’s battle with prostate cancer encourages Victoria man to support the cause

New gay pub to open in Victoria in the new year

The Vicious Poodle will be relaxed setting and host drag shows as well

Wastewater overflows lead to CRD warning at Greater Victoria beaches

Runoff may pose a health risk, CRD asks the public to stay out of the water in impacted areas

SD63 strike officially ends with union’s vote to accept agreement

More than 7,000 Saanich and Peninsula students back to school Monday

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Striking Vancouver hotel workers, employer reach ‘tentative’ agreement

Employees of the Rosewood Hotel Georgia have been out at picket lines since talks broke off on Sept. 21

Environmental and animal rights activists chain themselves to front doors of Kelowna bank

The group is protesting Interior Savings Credit Union’s support of Kelowna Ribfest

Cold, stormy winter forecast across much of Canada, The Weather Network predicts

In British Columbia temperatures will be slightly above normal and precipitation will be just below normal

Cell phone tickets worse tax grab than speed limits, SenseBC says

Distracted driving statistics questioned as B.C. tickets pile up

Stelly’s Stingers book ticket to provincial championships

Senior girls volleyball team places second at Island Championships

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

Most Read