While 49.4 per cent of renters are paying 30 per cent or more on housing in Penticton, just 16.3 per cent of owners are doing the same, despite the city’s red-hot real estate market. (Dustin Godfrey/Western News)

Data shows growing amount of income spent on housing

The Urbanics report shows a vacancy rate of one to two per cent in Penticton

Just shy of half of Penticton’s renters are paying 30 per cent or more of household incomes on shelters, according to recent census data, which could mean more work ahead for city hall than previously thought.

The Housing Needs Assessment commissioned by the city, conducted by Urbanics Consultants out of Vancouver, was presented to council at a June 6 committee of the whole meeting, which took a deep dive into deficiencies in Penticton’s housing market.

Related: City must ‘atone’ for its part in housing crisis: city planner

Related:The people of Carmi hill

That report, taking data from the 2011 census, indicates 34.4 per cent of Penticton’s non-farm, non-reserve rental households were spending 30 per cent or more of their income on shelter, so the latest census data comes as a sharp increase.

According to the data, released last week, 49.4 per cent of households are now at that 30-per-cent threshold. Meanwhile, just 16.3 per cent of owners are hitting that threshold, despite the city’s red-hot real estate market and rising cost of housing.

City of Penticton special projects manager Ben Johnson said he wasn’t able to comment specifically on the new data, having not seen the numbers, yet, but he wasn’t too shocked that there was a hike.

“It wouldn’t be entirely surprising if there was an increase in the number of households in core needs, because we’ve seen rents increasing pretty notably in the last couple of years due to the very minimal vacancy rate that we have,” he said.

Related: Moving forward from Highland Motel fire

Related: Motel fire highlights Penticton’s housing crisis

The Urbanics report shows a vacancy rate of one to two per cent in Penticton, also noting the rapidly rising cost of rent. An even higher percentage of Penticton residents were living in “core need” according to that report. Core need includes those who live in overcrowded or under-maintained spaces, and accounted for just over 37 per cent of renters.

According to a Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation release last year, 26.4 per cent of Canadian households overall were considered within the core housing need in 2011, well below Penticton’s rate.

Prevalence of low-income status by age
Infogram

This year’s data release is of scant difference, with Penticton’s 49.4-per-cent rate paying 30 per cent or more on shelter going unmatched by the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (47.3 per cent), B.C. (43.3) and Canada (40). The RDOS rate appears to be largely carried by Penticton, with Osoyoos and Oliver both around the 40-per-cent mark or under. Princeton is a little higher at 45 per cent.

Related: Nearly two-in-five renters living in inadequate housing: report

Related: Cost of housing continues to skyrocket in South Okanagan

Penticton’s rate also tops Kelowna’s, at 46.9 per cent, Vancouver’s (44.3), Nelson’s (47.2) and Victoria’s (45.9).

Development services director Anthony Haddad pointed to some of the efforts by the city to address the tight housing market, particularly looking at a recent data release by the city, which shows upward of 1,000 units approved since 2014, about 70 per cent of which were multi-family housing projects.

“So they are those a bit more affordable housing types that would typically be seen as an addition to the rental stock in Penticton,” Haddad said. “Council has been pretty aggressive in supporting that more affordable housing through the approval processes that they’ve been involved in.”

With the Urbanics report released late spring this year, the city had acknowledged early on an update would be required as more census data was released.

“We’ve got a contract with the same consultants to look at it, and they’ll re-look at their conclusions and provide an update to the study based on the new data,” Johnson said, adding the new report should be out by the end of the year.

Just Posted

Vees hang their hats on number 7

The Penticton Vees won their seventh consecutive BC Hockey League Interior Division title

Penticton bellydancer makes impression on dance show judges

Celine Blais won’t know until the end of March if she made it on dance show, but signs look good

OneWorld: a multicultural celebration of diversity

Fifth annual event showcasing the cultural diversity of the South Okanagan

NHL official from Penticton celebrates milestone

Shane Heyer will officiate his 2,000th NHL game on Feb. 25

A taste of the Olympics

Nearly 300 students at Uplands Elementary School took part in their own Olympics

President praises nearly 1,800 volunteers at B.C. Games

Ashley Wadhwani sits down with the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games President Niki Remesz

The way government learn someone has died is getting a digital overhaul

Governments in Canada turned to private consultants 2 years ago to offer blueprint

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

A most delicious competition at the Mall at Piccadilly

Salmon Arm hosts the Best of the Shuswap Pie Baking Contest

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Most Read