Victoria Femia, Castanet, November 23 (highlights presentation from BCNPHA CEO Jill Atkey)
A report from the B.C. Non-profit Housing Society shows the average income in Vernon is way less than the provincial average, and 50% of renters are spending more than one-third of their income on shelter.
The report, from 2016, was presented to city council on Monday by Jill Atkey.
She says the average income in Vernon is $47,177, while the provincial average is $58,698.
Meanwhile, Vernon’s average monthly cost of rent and utilities is $996, compared to $1,148 provincially.
Vernon was among the top 10 cities in the province with renter households spending over 30% of their income on shelter. It placed at No. 10, with 50% of renter households exceeding that threshold.
Across B.C., 43% of renter households spend over one-third of their income on shelter costs.
West Vancouver and Creston had the highest rate, at 58%.
Additionally, 21% of renter households in B.C. are spending over half their incomes on rent and utilities. Nationally, that figure is 18%.
A plan put together by the housing society states that 35,000 units of affordable housing are needed over the next 10 years, of which 11,500 will be for missing middle-income households and 23,500 will be for core-need households.
“For every provincially assisted affordable home developed in B.C. between 2015 and 2019, three homes were lost,” the report states.
The report suggests B.C. will not be able to build its way out of the current affordability crisis.
Atkey outlined five calls to action in her report to council, which include creating a planning framework that proactively encourages housing, reforming government fees on property development, expanding community and affordable housing, improved co-ordination among and within all orders of government, and more equitable treatment of renters and homeowners.