Monday, March 1, 2021

Langley City’s Housing Needs Report: More affordable rental units and townhouses are needed

Recently, the provincial government started requiring local governments to produce Housing Needs Reports. These reports must be updated every five years and identify current and future housing needs in a community. Local governments should use the information in these reports to update Official Community Plans and Regional Growth Strategies.

Langley City Council received its first Housing Needs Report last Monday.

The report identifies several challenges and gaps in housing within Langley City. Affordability across the housing continuum from supportive housing and below-market rental to market rental and ownership remains a concern.

There is not enough supportive housing and other forms of subsidized housing available in Langley City to meet the demand now and into the future. In the next five years, about one-third of Langley City households will not have affordable housing options. Affordability means that a household must not spend more than 30% of their income on housing.

Projected Affordability by Income Segment, Housing Type, and Housing Tenure in 2024. Select table to enlarge.

You would need to make $182,000 to buy a single-family home in Langley City in 2024. This income requirement restricts single-family homeownership to about 10% of the population of Langley City.

More encouraging is that you would need to have a household income of $92,460 to own a townhome or rowhouse in Langley City by 2024. About 41% of the population of Langley City can afford to own a townhome or rowhouse.

The affordable housing crisis is why Langley City’s draft new Official Community Plan proposes introducing townhomes and rowhouses along the 200th Street and 208th Street corridors. We need to ensure that our community remains an affordable place for people to raise a family.

Langley City also needs to encourage more affordable market rental options in our community, including allowing people to age-in-place. The number of adaptable and accessible housing units must increase.

Langley City’s draft new Official Community Plan encourages more purpose-built rental. It also includes a one-for-one rental unit replacement policy to ensure that we do not reduce the number of rental units in a neighbourhood. It also contains a robust tenant relocation policy to ensure that a developer must treat people fairly during a permanent relocation process.

Overall, the Housing Needs Report identified that more 1-bedroom and 3+ bedroom units are needed in Langley City over the next five years.

For more information, please read the full House Needs Report.

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