(Black Press file photo)

(Black Press file photo)

More action needed on housing affordability in Kelowna: Staff report

‘Low vacancy rates in the rental market and corresponding high costs have cascading impacts’

Kelowna council is getting a look at the city’s current state of housing affordability.

A staff report will “provide background and context for issues related to housing and an opportunity to review the city’s current approach and planned activities.”

As Canada’s fastest-growing metropolitan area, Kelowna continues to struggle with housing affordability.

READ MORE: Kelowna third fastest growing city in Canada

The report states that monthly mortgage costs for the average detached home sold in Kelowna in 2022 exceeded $6,000, and the average monthly cost for a condo sold in 2022 was nearly $3,000.

“The average Kelowna household earned $105,300 in 2020. At this level, monthly mortgage cost alone (excluding other shelter costs) for a condo would occupy 34 per cent of their pre-tax income and 41 per cent of their after-tax income, suggesting that the average household would be hard-pressed to afford ownership housing.”

According to the rental market website Zumper, as of Jan 14. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city was $1,970, and a two-bedroom rented for $2,250.

“The low vacancy rates in the rental market and the corresponding high costs have cascading impacts through our housing system, leading ultimately to elevated levels of homelessness and shelter use,” the city report states.

READ MORE: ‘We are going to be kissing balconies’: Neighbours say Kelowna apartment project too tall

Staff pointed out that the housing supply is responding to increased demand, with the city issuing permits for over 11,500 new homes over the past five years.

The report says Kelowna has long been a leader in addressing housing affordability including being an early adopter of secondary suites and carriage homes, incentives that have generated over 5,000 new market rental units currently, and streamlined development processes.

“Our housing affordability challenges would be more severe if these actions had not been taken. Nevertheless, given the persistence of our housing affordability challenges, staff suggest that further action is still required.”

The report will be presented to council Jan. 23.

READ MORE: 10-year tax break for rental-only developments in Kelowna


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affordable housingCity CouncilCity of KelownaHousingHousing crisis

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