Land-use and transportation are inextricably linked, yet when we talk about affordable housing in Metro Vancouver, the cost of transportation seems to be an afterthought. Housing and transportation are the largest expenditures for most households in our region.
Metro Vancouver recently released a report title “The Metro Vancouver Housing and Transportation Cost Burden Study – A New Way of Looking at Affordability.” The results will shock you.
The study looked at the total household costs for housing and transportation for average working families in different communities throughout Metro Vancouver. The study evaluated households were at least one member was employed in the labour force. It looked at both working households that had a mortgage, and households that rented.
|Combined Housing and Transportation Cost Burden for Working Owner Households with Mortgages. Select chart to enlarge.|
The top four most affordable places for working owner household with mortgages to live are in Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, and Richmond. The top three least affordable places are the North Shore, Delta, and Langley.
|Combined Housing and Transportation Cost Burdon for Working Renter Households. Select chart to enlarge.|
The top four most affordable places for working renter households are Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, and Surrey. The top three least affordable places are Langley, Pitt Meadows/Maple Ridge, and the North Shore.
The report’s researchers found that living next to SkyTrain or frequent bus transit dramatically lowered transportation costs for households. Average transportation costs in Langley City are lower than in the Township of Langley. In Surrey, transportation cost are much lower around the SkyTrain.
|Combined average annual transit and auto costs for working households (2011). Select map to enlarge.|
If we really want to address the affordability of living in Metro Vancouver, we need to ensure that all parts of the region have access to high-quality public transit.
The report start on page 92 of the Metro Vancouver Regional Planning Committee’s April 24, 2015 agenda.