Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Could you afford to rent a two bedroom apartment? Affordable housing and income - Part 2

Yesterday, I posted about household income bands and how that relates to affordable housing in South of Fraser communities. Based on income, what type of unit could a household rent in the South of Fraser? I had a look at information in the March 2016 edition of the Metro Vancouver Housing Data Book as well as the CMHC Fall 2015 Rental Market Report to put together the following table.

2015 median rents by housing type in South of Fraser communities plotted with affordable rental maximums based on income bands. Select chart to view.

The information for Bachelor to 3+ Bedroom is for purposed-built rental apartments. The information for 3+ Townhouse is for three or more bedroom private townhouse rentals. Surrey was the only location in the South of Fraser with reliable townhouse rental data.

What becomes clear is that if your total household income is less than $30,000, you are pretty much priced out of the private market. If your household income is between $30,000 and $39,999, you could afford a 2 bedroom apartment. To be able to have the most housing choices, your household income would need to be between $40,000 and $59,999.

Yesterday, I noted that various community have different mixes of household incomes. With that in mind, I thought it would be interesting to show what percentage of households in each municipality could afford to rent a two bedroom apartment.

White Rock: 48%
Langley City: 52%
Delta: 55%
Langley Township: 58%
Surrey: 65%

Surrey is doing better than other South of Fraser communities when it comes to affordable housing, but as a society, it is a problem that almost half of all households can’t afford to live in a two bedroom apartment.

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