The Tri-Cities Homelessness & Housing Task Group has just released the 2016 edition of the Tri-Cities Housing Affordability Report. This is the 4th consecutive year the report has been published. Of note:
- Not unexpectedly, the purchase price for housing in the Tri-Cities has increased dramatically since 2012, with the greatest rate of increase for all 3 forms of housing – detached, townhouse and apartment – occurring between 2014 – 2015. Yet the “affordable” income required to purchase this housing (based on the average Housing Prince Index May – July ’15) is less than in 2012. This is the result of mortgage interest rates which have steadily declined since 2012. Undoubtedly, demand fuelled by low interest rates is an important factor in the increase in the sale price of all forms of housing in the Tri-Cities.
- A new feature of the Tri-Cities Housing Affordability Report is the “Rental Housing Index” (RHI) created by a partnership between the BC Non-Profit Housing Association and Vancity. The RHI compares the health of the rental housing sector between each of 72 communities in the province of British Columbia. Coquitlam is the 2nd worst performer in the province with an overall rating of “critical” and a ranking of 71 out of 72 (the worst performer is Burnaby). Port Coquitlam and Port Moody fare better, with a rating of “severe” and rankings of 48/72 and 46/72 respectively. Since first published, the RHI has been expanded across Canada and reveals that Coquitlam is the 2nd worst performer of 521 communities in the country.
- A small but steady reduction in use of the SHARE food bank in the Tri-Cities since the 2013-2014 fiscal year continues. Much of this can be attributed to an improving economy, however concurrently the redevelopment of aging, lower cost rental housing adjacent to the Burquitlam Skytrain station – housing that has accommodated food bank clients – has pushed low income households further east of the Tri-Cities. This has been offset to some extent by the temporary accommodation of government-assisted Syrian refugees in this neighbourhood.
To read the report, or download a copy, click here