A new report says the “majority of housing being built is directed at wealthier households” in calling for ways to improve the supply of affordable housing (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

New report finds many Sidney residents struggle with housing affordability

Most median incomes in Sidney are not high enough to afford home-ownership

A new report finds most Sidney households do not earn enough to purchase local real estate or rent.

These findings appear in the Sidney Housing Needs Assessment before the council’s committee-of-the-whole Monday night, Nov. 4. Council commissioned the report combining demographic and economic data from federal, provincial and regional sources as a basis for Sidney’s Official Community Plan (OCP) review.

The report broadly confirms many of Sidney’s 11,130 residents living across 5,606 households find housing unaffordable, while raising questions about past and current housing policies. This last point appears especially stark in comments from Sidney staff, which say that the “majority of housing being built [in Sidney] is directed at wealthier households.”

RELATED: Sidney to learn about housing needs later this fall

RELATED: Our Place Society would like to see modular housing in Saanich Peninsula communities

Looking at the big picture first, the report finds Sidney is aging faster and growing slower than the rest of the region, with a median age of 58 years (compared to 45 for the Capital Regional District) and a population growth of five per cent (compared to 11 per cent for the Capital Regional District). The report also finds that Sidney’s median income of $64,151 is “slightly lower” than the median income of $69,642 for the region as a whole.

RELATED: Four-storey Sidney condo proposal moves ahead despite resident concerns

The report finds most median incomes in Sidney are not high enough to afford home-ownership when measured against 2019 average sales prices from BC Assessment.

“The only household type that did not experience an affordability gap at the median income was couples with children in relation to one-to-two-bedroom units,” it reads.

This statement means that all other categories experience varying degrees of housing unaffordability. The gap appears most pronounced for individuals living on their own or with roommates. Depending on the unit, the gap ranges between $2,729 for three bedrooms and $647 for a one-bedroom apartment.

By way of background, single individuals living on their own or with roommates represent the most common household in Sidney at 36 per cent, followed closely by couples without children (also around 36 per cent); couples with children (14 per cent); and single-parent families (seven per cent). So just under 80 per cent of all Sidney households consist out of one or two people, adults or otherwise.

As for existing homeowners, 15 per cent owner households say they spend more than 30 per cent of their income on shelter.

Affordability gaps also appear when it comes to rentals. The report finds that individuals living on their own or with roommates and single-parent families would not be able to afford appropriate units in the primary rental market based on 2018 median rents. For example, if the affordable monthly shelter cost is $745 for individuals making a median income of $29,805, they would find themselves short $715 short of being able to afford a two-bedroom unit and $350 short for a one-bedroom unit.

Looking ahead, the report finds the “biggest unmet needs in Sidney are affordable options for individuals living on their own and families” in finding that the community needs at least 597 new rental units with 400 units below rental market levels.

While the report acknowledges progress in changing the housing supply through incentives and updated policies, Sidney’s low rental vacancy rate, which has been close to zero since 2015, and high housing costs, confirm the unmet need for affordable, diverse housing options, it reads.

“Most new and anticipated units are higher-end ownership options geared towards retirees,” it reads. “While the housing stock in Sidney is growing, more focused efforts in targeted areas are likely needed to bridge the gap that already exists and will likely grow in the future,” it adds.


Like us on Facebook and follow @wolfgang_depner

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Just Posted

Victoria councillors ask taxpayers for opinions on 55 per cent wage increase

Council seeks feedback on the request in an online budget survey

VIDEO: North Island man trapped under ATV for days shows promise at Victoria hospital

Out of induced coma, 41-year-old is smiling, squeezing hands and enjoying sunshine

More people are being evicted from subsidized housing in Victoria, experts say

Closing of Pacifica Housing’s Fairfield Hotel a sign of ongoing trends

Victoria Police Department requests $2.5 million increase for 2020 budget

VicPD answers council questions about requested cost expenditures

Holiday Country Grocer campaign returns to make children’s dreams come true

Proceeds from campaign go towards Help Fill A Dream foundation

VIDEO: Six months later, downtown Victoria business still feels the burn of Pandora fire

Sattva Spa stripped to the bare bones and won’t be operational for another year

Ski resorts selling mountain water is a risky move, critics say

Alberta allowed ski resort in Kananaskis Country to sell about 50 million litres to third party

Sportsnet looks at new options for Coach’s Corner time slot, post-Don Cherry

Spokesperson says Hall of Fame feature on tap this weekend after co-host’s firing

Grand Forks residents protest on bridge to call for ‘fair’ compensation after 2018 floods

Demonstrators also criticized how long it has taken to be offered land deals

B.C. taxi drivers no longer exempt from wearing a seatbelt

Before, taxi drivers were allowed to forego a seatbelt when driving under 70 kilometres an hour

Car dash covered in papers not an excuse for speeding, Delta police warn

After pulling driver over for speeding, police found his speedometer blocked by a stack of papers

B.C. woman seeks return of jewelry box containing father’s cremated remains

Sicamous RCMP report handmade box was stolen from a storage locker

Vancouver police officer charged with sexual assault in apparent off-duty incident

Jagraj Roger Berar, 51, of Surrey, charged in incident alleged to have happened in Whistler

Sooke hosts forum to get input from people with disabilities

The province has multiple avenues for input

Most Read