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Kelowna  

Housing issues in focus

Barriers to home ownership in Kelowna are not expected to improve if current trends continue.

That according to a new Housing Needs Assessment.

The report indicates the current median household income in Kelowna is $68,000, while the average house price is $480,000.

By 2040, the report states the median household income is expected to rise to $99,000, while the average house price doubles to $950,000.

The report indicated the city would need an additional 23,000 to 25,000 new homes over the next two decades to keep up with demand from an estimated 50,000 new residents. It further states 35 to 40 per cent of the population will be in the rental market.

About 32 per cent currently rent in the city.

"Housing is in the midst of a boom cycle, and while some residents may be benefiting, others are feeling squeeze out of a tight market, and are becoming housing vulnerable," the report says.

"The impacts of this are seen in many ways in Kelowna, including the increasing numbers of people experiencing homelessness, the extremely low rental vacancy rate, and rapidly increasing home prices."

The report, part of the city's Journey Home and Healthy Housing Strategies, identified requirements in Kelowna based on housing supply, demand and estimates of future trends.

It further notes Kelowna is one of the least affordable cities in the country for housing and, for some, accessing and maintaining healthy housing is a daily struggle.

Nearly half of all renters in the city pay more than 30 per cent of their gross income on rent, exceeding the affordability threshold.

"The Housing Needs Assessment recognizes that demographic and economic factors, together, will also influence future housing needs because they shape household composition, and what housing forms are needed to best serve households."

The assessment identified 11 housing gaps in the city and made recommendations as to how address those.

City council will review the report, and recommendations Monday.



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