South Cariboo residents are being asked to share their thoughts on housing in the area, as the District of 100 Mile House and the Cariboo Regional District launches a housing needs assessment.
The study, announced last week, will aim to identify existing and projected gaps in the local housing supply, as well as collect data about population and household income in the region. An online survey, as well as feedback from public meetings, will give residents the chance to provide input.
“We know that demand is outpacing supply when it comes to support for housing initiatives,” said CRD Chair Margo Wagner in the release. “This assessment will provide a better sense of the types of housing most desired by residents of the region and assist to develop effective policies and programs to match the housing needs of the South Cariboo.”
The assessment is a requirement of new provincial legislation that took effect in April 2019, which mandates that municipalities and regional districts must complete a housing needs report by April 2022, and every five years moving forward.
Funding to carry out the assessment is being administered by the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
The District and the CRD have enlisted the help of the Calibrate Group, a Surrey-based firm that provides consulting services specializing in community health and housing.
The study will include research from public data sources such as Census, BC Stats and the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. The consultants will also meet with developers, First Nations leaders, seniors’ organizations, residents’ associations, industry leaders and real estate professionals.
The latest assessment follows a senior-specific housing study in 2017 conducted by the Age-Friendly Society of the South Cariboo. That report revealed there is currently not enough available and appropriate housing options for seniors in the South Cariboo.
Joanne Doddridge, 100 Mile’s director of economic development, said she expects the study will show the different challenges faced across the region.
“We’re going to see different needs come out of it,” she said adding Sheridan and Bridge lake’s housings needs are different from those in Lac La Hache. “It will also help us find solutions.”
Residents interested in participating in an online survey can do so via 100 Mile House district website; the survey includes more than a dozen questions about the participants’ preferred housing type, possible roadblocks to attaining preferred housing and approximate monthly housing costs.
Public meetings are tentatively scheduled for early July in 100 Mile House, 108 Mile Ranch, Lac La Hache, Forest Grove, Lone Butte and Interlakes.
“This is the right time to gather the information we need to meet the housing requirements in our area,” Mayor Mitch Campsall said. “Demand for housing is growing, in 100 Mile House and across the region.”