Northern Housing Study: Housing Stock Too Old
Prince George, B.C. – A new Northern B.C. housing study has found population growth will continue to be dependent on the state of the resource sector and that the region’s housing stock needs to be updated.
The study was released today by UNBC’s Community Development Institute (CDI) at the Northern B.C. Housing Conference held at the university.
Funded by BC Housing, the study found many communities in the region are subject to “boom and bust cycles” that last as little as five years and that the seniors population in northern B.C. will increase significantly over the next 20 years.
CDI co-director Marleen Morris authored the study and noted a key finding is that housing built in the 1960s and 1970s is no longer suited to the needs of the current population and that many communities lack the kind of housing necessary to recruit skilled professionals to the region.
“We found that regarding the age of the housing stock, the majority of it is 35 years or older,” she said. “That presents a number of problems – they’re not energy efficient, it affects mobility issues.”
Morris said affordability is also an issue.
“We have to look at what creates housing affordability in a broader context. We have to look at things like energy efficiency, we have to look at transportation costs, taxes and the cost of taxes,” she said.
“We have to factor that all in so we not only create housing that is affordable for people but that we’re creating communities that are affordable.”
The study looked at key trends and challenges facing 10 communities in the region: 100 Mile House, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Kitimat, Prince George, Prince Rupert, Quesnel, Smithers, Terrace and Williams Lake.
“Our hope is that this study will act as a catalyst to bring the housing sector together to develop innovative and collaborative approaches that will build resilience, flexibility and affordability.”
You can view the study by clicking here.