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

Just Posted

The victim of the homicide on Cowichan Lake Road early Monday morning was 17 years old, and was stabbed in the incident. (File photo)
Duncan homicide victim was 17 years old

RCMP report that teenager was stabbed

Activists from the Fairy Creek Blockades hold the injunction application notice which was submitted by logging company Teal Jones to the B.C. Supreme Court. The application, which asks to have blockaders removed from the sites that stop access to cut blocks, is set to be heard on March 4. (Photo contributed/Joshua Wright)
Activists hunker down to protect Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew from logging

Forest company Teal Cedar applies for injunction to remove seven-month-old blockades

(File photo)
Island conservation group says members targeted with harassment, vandalism

Police investigate pair of reports of mischief victims call pushback against conservation efforts

Nootka Sound RCMP responded to a workplace fatality report south of Gold River on Monday morning. (Campbell River Mirror photo)
One dead in workplace accident at Gold River logging site

The RCMP and Work Safe BC are investigating the incident at Western Forest Product’s TFL 19

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Nanaimo sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Whispers Adult Superstore overnight Feb. 21

Sooke Lake Reservoir, shown here, is the primary storage site for Greater Victoria’s drinking water supply. The Capital Regional District just purchased a property on the north edge of the water supply area to help further protect the supply. (Photo courtesy CRD)
CRD acquires 58.7-hectare watershed to further protect Greater Victoria drinking water supply

Forested area near Grant Lake is part of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

(File photo)
RCMP arrest man after report of gun-toting threat-maker near Parksville schools

43-year-old man taken into custody; students at nearby schools were asked to stay inside

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

The machines are located in four cities across Canada, including Vancouver and Victoria

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

Most Read