Penticton, Kelowna renters spending nearly 30% of income on housing
By Jennifer Stahn
November 18, 2014 - 4:29 PM
KAMLOOPS, VERNON NOT MUCH BETTER
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - A new study shows people renting in the region are spending, on average, 24-29 per cent of their income on rent and utilities, putting the rental landscape in the poor to severe category.
The B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association released the Rental Housing Index, in partnership with Vancity Credit Union, compiled Canadian census data to create a map looking at the rental statistics for all of B.C.
In Kamloops there are 9,150 renters, compared to 14,055 in Kelowna, 5,495 in Penticton and 4,715 in Vernon. Rent plus utilities in Kelowna averages $1,098 per month where as the rest of the region averages $857-889 per month.
Throughout the region about half of all renters are spending more than 30 per cent of their income on rent, with 22-26 per cent of all renters spending more than 50 per cent of their monthly income on rent.
The provincial average for the cost of rent plus utilities is $988 with 23 per cent of all renters spending more than 50 per cent of their income on rent.
Renters paying more than 50 per cent of their income on rent are at a crisis level of spending, according to the association.
“We’re not building more rental housing, so renters are forced to overspend, living in overcrowded or deteriorated conditions, or they become homeless,” Tony Roy, executive director of BC Non-Profit Housing Association said. “It’s a shame because it’s far cheaper to plan for more rental housing than to deal with the huge costs linked to homelessness, on the health and justice systems. If we don’t invest in affordable housing today, we end up paying a much higher price down the road.”
The index looks at income, affordability and overcrowding in nearly 100 B.C. communities. The hope is planners, developers and government will use the data in planning for future housing needs.
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