Campbell River – The Strathcona Community Health Network (SCHN) has received the Regional Housing Needs Assessment, which provides a snapshot of housing needs, quality of available housing and demand throughout the Strathcona Region.
The findings have been shared at a high-level with local governments and housing non-profits and are now available to the public through the SCHN website. The results highlight what SCHN members have both been seeing and hearing from residents.
“The report confirms that the housing crisis underway in the Lower Mainland and the southern parts of Vancouver Island has started to impact all of us living north of the Oyster River,” says SCHN Coordinator Libby King. “The report shows that in Campbell River, single-parent families and individuals living alone face the most significant affordability challenges, with over 50 per cent of single-parent families effectively priced out of the rental market.”
Rent for a one-bedroom property in Campbell River increased by 42 percent in the last ten years, while during the same period, the vacancy rate fell from seven per cent to 1.3 per cent. For context, a healthy vacancy rate is defined as being between three to five per cent.
“The report shows that members of our community who are the most vulnerable have the fewest options,” says King. “Low-income earners, especially low-income seniors, the disabled, First Nations, and those with mental health or substance use issues are the most vulnerable in this housing market. Survey respondents reported rental discrimination based on family size, sexual orientation, physical ability, and cultural identity – especially amongst First Nations.”
House prices across the region have increased significantly with single detached dwellings rising in price by 28 per cent, while patio condominiums rose 48 per cent between 2015 and 2017. Of survey respondents who identified owning their own one day as a priority, 82 per cent of those felt that they would face significant barriers in achieving this goal.
“The good news is that funding for affordable housing is available through both the provincial and federal governments. Having tangible data is an important step in securing resources to create affordable housing and address some of the issues raised in the report,” added King.
Funding for the Housing Needs Assessment was provided by Island Health, the City of Campbell River, and the Strathcona Regional District. The SNHC is a collaborative partnership with a mission to improve the health and well-being of communities in the Strathcona Region by identifying root causes and issues impacting resident’s health.
Strathcona Community Health Network