Affordable Housing: Building Creston's Future

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Background

In recent years, Creston has witnessed significant demographic and housing changes, including an increased demand for affordable housing stock. The following overview presents key findings from 2006 to 2021, highlighting the trends in population growth and shifts in housing patterns, as detailed in the RDCK Housing Needs Assessment Report: Creston Community Summary (2020).

Population Growth in Creston:

  • 2006-2016: Population increased by 11%, reaching 5,351 individuals.
  • 2016-2021: Population grew by 4.1%, reaching 5,583 people.

Homeownership:

  • Increased by 3% from 2006 to 2016.
  • Breakdown by family type (2006-2016):
    • Families without children: +6% in homeownership.
    • Families with children: +17% in homeownership.
    • Singles/roommates: +12% in homeownership.

Rental Housing:

  • Increased by 38% from 2006 to 2016.
  • Approximately 27% of Creston's households are renters
  • Breakdown by family type (2006-2016):
    • Families without children: +22% in rentals.
    • Families with children: +35% in rentals.
    • Singles/roommates: +21% in rentals.

Housing Implications:

  • The increase in rental housing indicates a shift towards more families and individuals opting for or needing to rent.
  • Creston is facing a growing demand for affordable rental housing stock.

What is Affordable Housing?

For housing to be considered affordable, less than 30% of a household's before-tax income should be spent on shelter costs. If a household is spending more than 30% they are considered to be in Core Housing Need. When that threshold is adjusted to 50%, this is known as Extreme Housing Need.

Why Have Affordable Housing?

Affordable, quality housing is an essential social determinant of health. The quality, accessibility, and affordability of housing have significant short-term and long-term impacts on physical and mental wellbeing. Those experiencing housing insecurity face difficult decisions, including prioritizing heating and cooling their home, access to health care, access to nutritious food, and safety.


Check out this video narrated by Natasha, our Municipal Services Coordinator and Planner, to learn more!

Background

In recent years, Creston has witnessed significant demographic and housing changes, including an increased demand for affordable housing stock. The following overview presents key findings from 2006 to 2021, highlighting the trends in population growth and shifts in housing patterns, as detailed in the RDCK Housing Needs Assessment Report: Creston Community Summary (2020).

Population Growth in Creston:

  • 2006-2016: Population increased by 11%, reaching 5,351 individuals.
  • 2016-2021: Population grew by 4.1%, reaching 5,583 people.

Homeownership:

  • Increased by 3% from 2006 to 2016.
  • Breakdown by family type (2006-2016):
    • Families without children: +6% in homeownership.
    • Families with children: +17% in homeownership.
    • Singles/roommates: +12% in homeownership.

Rental Housing:

  • Increased by 38% from 2006 to 2016.
  • Approximately 27% of Creston's households are renters
  • Breakdown by family type (2006-2016):
    • Families without children: +22% in rentals.
    • Families with children: +35% in rentals.
    • Singles/roommates: +21% in rentals.

Housing Implications:

  • The increase in rental housing indicates a shift towards more families and individuals opting for or needing to rent.
  • Creston is facing a growing demand for affordable rental housing stock.

What is Affordable Housing?

For housing to be considered affordable, less than 30% of a household's before-tax income should be spent on shelter costs. If a household is spending more than 30% they are considered to be in Core Housing Need. When that threshold is adjusted to 50%, this is known as Extreme Housing Need.

Why Have Affordable Housing?

Affordable, quality housing is an essential social determinant of health. The quality, accessibility, and affordability of housing have significant short-term and long-term impacts on physical and mental wellbeing. Those experiencing housing insecurity face difficult decisions, including prioritizing heating and cooling their home, access to health care, access to nutritious food, and safety.


Check out this video narrated by Natasha, our Municipal Services Coordinator and Planner, to learn more!

  • Small-scale, multi unit housing (SSMUH)

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    What is small-scale, multi unit housing?

    Small-scale, multi-unit housing describes a range of buildings and housing units that can provide attainable housing for middle-income families. Examples of small-scale, multi-unit housing include:

    • Secondary suites in single-family dwellings
    • Detached accessory dwelling units (ADUs), like garden suites or laneway homes
    • Triplexes
    • Townhomes
    • House-plexes

    Small-scale, multi-unit housing offers housing options that are ground-oriented and compatible in scale and form within established single-family neighbourhoods. These housing forms typically offer more family-oriented units than larger-scale multi-family housing and more affordable options than single-family dwellings.

    Legislation

    In the fall of 2023, the Province of British Columbia (BC) introduced changes to the Local Government Act (LGA) and Vancouver Charter (VC) to allow more small-scale, multi-unit housing in land use zones that are otherwise restricted to single-family dwellings or duplexes. These are referred to as Restricted Zones in the new legislation. The legislation applies to all municipalities and regional districts in the province.

    Some of the required changes that municipalities and regional districts must make include:

    • Allowing Secondary suites and/or accessory dwelling units in all single-family residential zones
    • Permitting three to four units of small-scale, multi-unit housing on each parcel of land, if zoned exclusively for single-family or duplex residential, which are:
      • Wholly or partly within an urban containment boundary established by a regional growth strategy, or
      • Within a municipality with a population greater than 5,000 and is wholly or partly within an urban containment boundary established by an official community plan, or
      • In a municipality with a population greater than 5,000 that does not have an urban containment boundary

    Requirements will apply in single-family and duplex zones that already allow a secondary suite and/or an accessory dwelling unit (ADU). The minimum number of dwelling units that must be allowed by parcel size are:

    • A minimum of 3 housing units on parcels that are 280 m2 or smaller
    • A minimum of 4 units on parcels greater than 280 m2
    • Some exemptions apply

    To read more about the upcoming legislated changes, please see the Provincial Policy Manual & Site Standards document or visit HERE.

  • Creston's Housing Action Plan

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    On January 24th the Town of Creston adopted the Creston Housing Action Plan. The HAP includes 19 recommended actions, which are grouped by these four priority areas:

    1. Overall housing: Actions to increase the supply of more affordable housing generally (both rental and ownership) that those with low and moderate incomes can afford.
    2. Non-market housing: Actions that will increase non-market housing supply (primarily rental given the current market context) for households with lower incomes and larger households in the moderate-income category.
    3. Rental housing: Actions that will increase the supply of rental housing generally (including market and non-market).
    4. Lower-priced ownership housing: Actions that will increase the supply of lower-priced homes, including manufactured homes, duplexes, rowhouses, townhouses, co-housing, and efficiently-sized strata condos – sometimes called the “missing middle.”


    Staff have developed an Implementation Plan outlining first steps and timelines for the actions described in the HAP. Council will be provided with reports on each of the actions for consideration prior to implementation.

    Check out the sidebar to view the plan!

  • Rental Standards of Maintenance Bylaw

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    supporting image

    Are you a renter or landlord in Creston? Get to know the Rental Standards. Read our recent mail-out HERE.


  • Town of Creston Hosts Affordable Housing Discussion

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    On March 9, 2022 the Town of Creston held a public meeting to discuss the Affordable Housing situation in Creston. There were 59 community members in attendance, representing a variety of local organizations and non-profits, business owners, land owners, investors, builders, developers, realtors and tenants. Town staff, Council, and RDCK Area A were also present. Chief Administrative Officer Michael Moore began the discussion by overviewing affordable housing related data, primarily based on information from the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) Housing Needs Report, released in 2020. He specifically highlighted that rental housing in the RDCK has a less than 1% vacancy rate and that current rental prices are exceeding what is affordable for community members. “Affordable Housing, by definition, means that no more than 30% of the total household income, before taxes, is spent on housing. This includes utilities, taxes and other costs associated with housing. If a household is spending 50% or more of their total household income on housing costs, they are in extreme housing need,” Moore said.

    Margaret Durnin with the Creston Valley Community Housing Society (CVCHS) spoke to the ongoing work of the CVCHS in addressing the housing affordability issue in Creston. The meeting was then opened up to attendees for input, comments, and solutions on how, as a community, we can address the affordable housing situation moving forward. The public comments underscored the complex issues our community faces with housing.

    Due to the keen response received at the meeting to generate practical solutions, staff recommended to Council that an Advisory Select Committee for affordable housing be formed. Staff will develop the Terms of Reference for this committee and advertise for committee membership in the coming weeks.

    “Affordable housing doesn’t just mean ‘low-income housing’. This is now a problem for 58% of tenants, and 12% of homeowners in Creston. It’s a complex issue that can’t be solved overnight or by any one organization. We need housing that everyone can afford. We need land, we need builders, we need investors,” said Moore following the meeting. “Most of all, we need the community to work together.”

  • Affordable Housing In Creston

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    In 2015, the median income for owner households was $57,218 and $23,700 for renter households. Statistics Canada reported that approximately 22% of Creston residents were considered "Low Income", making less than 50% of the median household income in 2015. The RDCK report estimates that the number of unaffordable homes in Creston has grown approximately 30% from 2006 to 2016. According to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), less than 1% of rentals in the RDCK were vacant in 2019. These statistics suggest that Creston is experiencing a growing need for affordable housing stock, specifically rental properties.

    Based on 2019 income estimates, a median couple household can likely afford all dwelling types in Creston (single-detached, duplex, row house, semi-detached, manufactured). However, single parents cannot reasonably afford a single-detached home, and singles cannot reasonably afford any dwelling (RDCK, 2020). The Creston Official Community Plan (2017) noted that the Creston Valley Community Housing Society identified that young families were the demographic in the greatest need of low-cost housing in 2012. The RDCK report indicated that 57% of surveyed rental households in Creston live in a home that places them outside of their financial means (based on the 2016 Census) and that renter households are about eight (8) times more likely to be in Core Housing Need, compared to those that own their home. In addition, approximately 16% of Creston renters are identified as being in Extreme Housing Need and spend more than 50% of before-tax income on shelter costs.

  • What Have We Done?

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    On January 11th, 2022, Council adopted the new Town of Creston’s Residential Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 1944, 2021. A Residential Revitalization Tax Exemption (RTE) Program is a tool that may encourage rental housing development. An RTE, specifically providing tax exemptions for the construction of residential rental dwelling units, would support the development of overall housing stock, addressing one component of affordable housing. Many factors play into eligibility for the program. However, there are two key components – a new dwelling unit must be constructed, and the owner must enter into a 'Housing Agreement'. The Housing Agreement secures the rental unit for 10-15 years, ensuring long-term rentals for occupants.

    The RTE encourages:

    • Purpose Built Housing
    • Multi-family developments
    • Secondary suites

    Affordable housing is a complex issue, and there is no silver-bullet solution. However, an RTE focused on rental housing is an important measure to increase long-term rental inventory.

    In addition to the RTE, the new zoning bylaw allows for more flexibility when developing secondary suites in your home or on your property. Those choosing to build a secondary suite can take advantage of the RTE program.

    Find out more HERE

  • Where Are We Going?

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    BC Housing produced "A Scan of Leading Practices in Affordable Housing in Small Communities", outlining some of the tools at a municipalities disposal to increase affordable housing. Tools included are:

    • Inclusionary zoning and density bonusing
    • Intensification and tenure through rezoning
    • Reducing costs by streaming approvals and other incentives
    • Short-term rental regulations
    • Covenant tools


    On MARCH 9th, the Town of Creston hosted an Affordable Housing Forum. We heard from non-profit groups, developers, businesses, and general members of the public. We heard about the challenges the community is facing and began brainstorming ideas on how we can create change. We look forward to establishing a Select Committee who will act on stakeholders behalf to collectively lay the ground work for short and long term solutions.

    The Town of Creston looks forward to building our 'affordable housing toolbox', and engaging with you!

  • What Can You Do?

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    1. STAY ENGAGED - we will continue to move this discussion forward on this page, the advance, newsletters and more!
    2. Upon release of the new zoning bylaw, take advantage of building a secondary suite in your home or on your property
    3. Apply for the Residential Revitalization Tax Exemption Program
    4. Continue to learn and engage with us to make your housing needs heard
  • Public Affordable Housing Discussion

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
    supporting image

    The Town of Creston hosted an Affordable Housing Discussion on March 9, 2022. There was almost 60 people in attendance including: land owners, contractors, developers, realtors, businesses, organizations/non-profits and the general public. The purpose of the meeting was to educate everyone on the current situation, and to come up with ideas of how we can start moving forward as community, to solve this complex issue.

    Mike Moore, Chief Administrator for the Town spoke on the Affordable Housing issue in Creston. You can view his presentation by clicking HERE.

  • Affordable Housing and Development Committee

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
    supporting image

    An Affordable Housing and Development Committee Meeting has been scheduled for Monday June 13, 2022 at 1:30 pm.

    This meeting will be held in Council Chambers, located at 238-10th Avenue North, Creston B.C. and is open to the public.

    The agenda is available here: https://pub-creston.escribemeetings.com/Meeting.aspx?Id=3a19c5a2-b1c1-4eca-bc4b-9cc4ca39a6d5&Agenda=Agenda&lang=English

Page last updated: 31 Jan 2024, 03:01 PM