Working Together to Tackle our Region’s Housing Needs

The Comox Valley Regional District in partnership with the City of Courtenay,  Town of Comox and Village of Cumberland undertook a housing needs assessment for the region and want to share the results with you. On August 12, 2020 the CVRD  presented the findings through an online community forum. Below is the complete video of the virtual community forum. 

Housing Needs Assessment Final Reports

Background

In 2018, the province introduced legislation requiring all local governments in British Columbia to review local housing needs and consider those specific, local needs when creating policy and making decisions about development. Under the legislation, local governments will need to collect local data to understand housing supply, demand and the provision of housing across the housing spectrum. This information will help communities to identify gaps and address additional factors that may be impacting housing supply, such as short-term accommodations and speculation.

Here in the Comox Valley, the CVRD, the Village of Cumberland, the Town of Comox and the City of Courtenay have partnered under the Regional Growth Strategy to undertake a regional housing needs assessment. The findings of this work will help to meet Goal #1 of the Regional Growth StrategyEnsure a diversity of affordable housing options to meet evolving regional demographics and needs.

The work will build on existing affordable housing policies in the Regional Growth Strategy, municipal and rural Official Community Plans, as well as Cumberland’s 2016 Housing Needs AssessmentCity of Courtenay’s Affordable Housing Policy, and Town of Comox’s Housing Affordability Strategy.

Project Description

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) received funding from Union of BC Municipalities for this project. Gather Planning and Engagement, and Turner Drake and Partners have been hired to assist the project work. The work will include engagement with key stakeholders including residents within the region, K’omoks First Nation, Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness, Comox Valley Community Health Network, and the Comox Valley Economic Development Society. A broad range of quantifiable data regarding affordability, population (current and projected), real estate, homelessness and insecure housing, household incomes, dwelling unit types and condition, will be collected and analyzed for each community. 

Project Outcomes

The key deliverables will be a housing needs assessment report with specific community profiles, published on the CVRD’s website, and a community forum to review findings and discuss options for action.

Project Timeline

  1. October 2019 Orientation and Context: background information and legislation review; stakeholder meetings and focus groups; development of an engagement strategy
  2. November to December 2019 Data Collection: collect and analyse information from existing datasets (e.g. Statistics Canada,  B.C. Housing, B.C. Assessment, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Canadian Rental Housing Index, etc.), prepare and distribute surveys, conduct interviews and host pop-up events within communities
  3. January to February 2020 Findings and Analysis: submission of draft report to the project team made up of staff from CVRD, Town of Comox, Village of Cumberland and City of Courtenay
  4. March 2020 – draft housing needs reports presented to Cumberland and Comox Councils and CVRD Board
  5. June - July 2020 – final housing needs assessment reports to be presented to Cumberland, Comox and Courtenay Councils and the CVRD Board
  6. August 12, 2020 - Online Community Housing Forum 7-8:30 pm. Registration Required. Register by calling 250-334-6000 or by registering online here.

For more information contact Alana Mullaly, Senior Manager of Sustainability and RGS Planning.