Over the last decade, the housing market in the District of Sooke (the District) and the Capital Regional District has seen remarkable changes; homeownership prices have increased dramatically and the availability of rental housing in Sooke is very low. The District is experiencing the pressures of growth; specifically, in residential development. To help ensure that the District is meeting the needs of the community a comprehensive and holistic Housing Needs Report was required. A Housing Needs Report is a means for the District to better understand the current and future housing needs. The report provides an overview of the District’s current housing availability, suitability, and affordability across the entire housing continuum from basic shelter to the availability of high-end real estate.
In early 2019, the Province made these reports a requirement and inserted the legislation into The Local Government Act. Communities in BC are now required to report on current and project housing needs and collect approximately 50 kinds of data about current and project population, household income, significant economic sectors, and the currently available and anticipated housing units. The projections must look at least five years forward and be updated every five years.
On December 9, 2019, Council accepted the first District of Sooke Housing Needs Report. The findings have been summarized in the infographic below
Development Proposals – The Housing Needs Report will be used to identify specific gaps in the housing supply that need to be filled and the District will work with developers and non-profit housing providers to deliver this supply to the market.
Official Community Plan – As good housing policies and sustainable land-use practices are a critical part of every community, the Housing Needs Report will be used to update the upcoming OCP.
Ongoing Monitoring of Housing Supply – The Province requires that the Housing Needs Report stay up to date with a new report every five years. This will allow the District to periodically check in with housing supply and demand in the community, undertake a review of policies and best practices and adjust the District’s response accordingly. The Housing Needs Report sets targets for certain types of housing needed in the community. As development occurs the District can track the delivery of these units.
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