Nearly half of Chilliwack residents spending too much on rent

46 per cent spending more than 30 per cent of income, a rate higher than B.C. average

Nearly half of Chilliwack residents are spending more than the recommended 30 per cent of household income on housing and one in five are spending more than 50 per cent.

That’s according to the 2018 Canadian Rental Housing Index, which points to a local and nationwide “crisis” that sees housing costs outpacing incomes.

“Traditionally, spending 30 per cent or less of household income on rent has been viewed as the benchmark of what is considered affordable,” said Jill Atkey, acting CEO of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA). “However, the data shows that spending more than 30 per cent of income on housing has become the new normal for individuals and families in almost all areas of Canada.”

In Chilliwack, 46 per cent of households are spending more than 30 per cent of income on rent and utilities. That is slightly higher than the B.C. average of 43 per cent.

The average monthly rent and utilities, according to the report, in Chilliwack is $998, a little below the B.C. average of $1,148.

Twenty per cent of households in Chilliwack spend more than 50 per cent of their income, a bit lower than the 21 per cent of all B.C. residents.

What makes things more challenging for Chilliwack residents is that incomes here are lower than the B.C. average. The median income in Chilliwack is $39,039 compared to the B.C. median of $45,979. The average income is $50,977, which compares to the B.C. average of $58,698.

According to the BCNPHA, the data paints a worrying picture for rental housing affordability across the country.

“If every renter household that spent more than half of their income on housing costs lived in one place, it would be Canada’s fourth largest city,” said Kira Gerwing, Manager of Community Investment at Vancity credit union. “This shows why a strong community housing sector is absolutely necessary to deliver rental housing that people can afford.”

One of the drivers of these affordability challenges is the increase in the number of Canadians in the rental market. Between 2011 and 2016, nearly 400,000 new renter households were added for a total of more than 4.4-million or 32 per cent of all households in Canada.

“With escalating prices keeping many Canadians from affording home ownership, as well as a lack of affordable rental housing supply, more people are entering the rental market or staying in the rental market longer,” said Jeff Morrison, Executive Director of the Canadian Housing and Renewal Association. “This marks the first time in a generation that the rate of Canadian renters has outpaced the number of Canadians buying a home, and speaks to the need to increase the supply of affordable housing.”


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Call goes out for B.C. wildfire relief supplies

Chilliwack volunteers hope to load a 53-foot trailer with practical donations before heading into the firezone

UFV baseball coach returns to pro ranks

Jordan Lennerton, who also coaches at ‘The Yard’ in Chilliwack, played 1 game for the Quebec Capitales

Camp Ignite aims to inspire future first responders

Four-day camp offers young women a chance to experience the challenges of being a first responder

General aviation traffic down to a trickle at Chilliwack Airport

Minimum visibility guidelines can’t be met when conditions are so smoky you can’t see the mountains

At least 14 illegal fires set between Chilliwack and Hope this month

Conservation officers are fed up with people not listening to the province-wide fire ban

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Date rapist left victims with ‘long-lasting, emotional scars,’ judge says

Klifford Kenyon of Abbotsford sentenced to additional two years in prison

Fire in barn that housed therapy horses has been confirmed an arson

Abbotsford Police Department is now investigating and seeks witnesses

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen pleads guilty in hush-money scheme

Said he and Trump arranged payment to porn star Stormy Daniels and a former Playboy model to influence the election

Most Read