The resale price of a detached home in Nanaimo rose 69 per cent between 2013-18, says a Regional District of Nanaimo housing needs study. (Nanaimo News Bulletin file)

The resale price of a detached home in Nanaimo rose 69 per cent between 2013-18, says a Regional District of Nanaimo housing needs study. (Nanaimo News Bulletin file)

Regional District of Nanaimo needs more rental housing, study finds

RDN directors will take another look at the report and consider next steps

The Regional District of Nanaimo area could require 77,700 units of housing by 2026 in order to meet demand, projects an RDN housing report.

A study, prepared for the RDN by City Spaces Consulting Ltd. and Van Struth Consulting Group, was initiated last year to better comprehend RDN housing needs and according to the report, the region will require an estimated 600 units per year to reach 77,725 housing units by 2026, as a base growth scenario. Based on a high-growth scenario, 80,558 units of housing, an estimated 941 units a year, would be needed.

“The region is experiencing steady growth,” Kim Fowler, RDN manager of long-range planning, sustainability and energy, said at a June 9 meeting.

She said the region’s current population is 172,000 and the projected increase is 6,500 people in the next five years.

Of the 70,690 housing units in the region currently, 72 per cent are owned by residents, 25 per cent are rental, two per cent are subsidized and one per cent are for emergency shelters, according to Fowler’s presentation.

“The average annual number of building permits issued suggests that development is able to keep pace with the number of units needed for housing,” said Fowler. “It also indicates opportunities for further guidance and promotion of diversification to help address the future housing needs in the region.”

A healthy rental market, according to the report, sees a three-per cent vacancy rate and while it was 4.3 per cent in 2011, it has since dropped below three per cent in the Nanaimo area, according to Fowler.

”Recent trends, starting around 2015, show a decrease to around one per cent or less,” said Fowler. “The City of Nanaimo has a recent increase in purpose-built rental units and now has a vacancy rate of 2.4 per cent, so that’s an exception or an improvement. Parksville has also built significant amount of purpose-built rental units, but the vacancy rate is still at 0.2 per cent. So that rate is quite low and is a concern.”

RELATED: RDN to create regional strategy on affordable housing

RELATED: RDN to commission study on housing

According to the report, average resale price for a single detached home in Nanaimo increased to $550,200 from $325,600, from 2013-18, an increase of 69 per cent. Also in that time, average resale price for a townhouse in Nanaimo increased to $347,200 from $209,900 (65 per cent increase), while average resale price for a Nanaimo apartment increased to $323,500 from $187,300, or by 73 per cent.

“The gap between income and affordable housing therefore is continuing to grow and that is due to the cost of both increase in rentals and increase in cost of home ownership,” said Fowler.

She said some of the housing gaps identified are accessible and adaptable housing, rental housing, low-barrier rental housing and affordable ownership options.

Proposed next steps include developing policy options to address identified needs and seeking input on options as part of an update to the RDN regional growth strategy. Staff also propose development of a housing strategy, which Fowler said is part of the regional district’s strategic plan.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

HousingNanaimo Regional District

Just Posted

Ultra runner Jerry Hughes circles the track at the Cowichan Sportsplex as he nears the end of his six-day Canadian record attempt and fundraiser in November. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Ultramarathon a few miles short, but many dollars beyond its goal

Six-day run misses record bid, but Help Fill A Dream fundraiser a big success

British Columbia provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wears a face mask as she views the Murals of Gratitude exhibition in Vancouver, on Friday, July 3, 2020. Dr. Henry frequently reminds people that there are those people who cannot wear a mask for legitimate reasons and they don’t have to. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island woman reminds community that not everyone can wear a mask

People enforcing mask rules frequently ignore that possibility

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
UPDATE: City dismantling Wesley Street homeless encampment after fire

Fire broke out at about 12:15 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos ran the length of Vancouver Island, with the help of their van Pippi, raising more than $12,000 for 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre. (Photo submitted)
Greater Victoria pair finishes running length of Vancouver Island a day early

Joe Robertson and Jack Amos raised more than $12,000 for single parents

An electronic sign at the Tofino-Ucluelet junction notifies travellers heading towards Sutton Pass that closure windows are in effect Thursday morning. (Andrew Bailey photo)
Survey swirls up confusion around Tofino-Ucluelet highway closures

“The Highway 4 Kennedy Hill Project closure times remain the same for now,” ministry says

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

The notice at Port Hardy Secondary School’s athletic track. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
North Island school tracks closed to the public during school hours

To keep P.E. classes safe, the restriction went into effect Nov. 30

Some older Canadian currency will have its legal status removed at the start of the new year. (Pixabay.com)
Bank of Canada puts the boots to old bills

$1 and $2, $25 to $500 and $1,000 lose cash value Jan. 1, 2021

The Sooke School District is actively looking for more bus drivers after they had to cancel a handful of bus routes in late November. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bus driver shortage cancels routes in Sooke School District

More drivers needed to accomodate expanding bus routes amid pandemic

Most Read