Nanaimo has been granted $50,000 to gather information on housing needs to help the province try to come up with solutions.
In a press release, the B.C. Ministry of Municipal Affairs announced Nanaimo would be one of six communities receiving money to support it in reporting on its housing needs as part of a process to “deliver more diverse and affordable homes.”
Program legislation dictates that local governments across the province must report on their housing needs by April, and every five years subsequent to that, said the press release, with data to include population, household income, significant economic sectors, as well as current and anticipated housing units.
Reports, once completed, will be made available online to assist people looking for information on local housing needs, the press release said.
The program is administered by the Union of B.C Municipalities and UBCM president Brian Frenkel said while lack of affordable housing is a common issue across the province, needs in each community differ.
“The housing needs report program is designed to strengthen the data available to inform local decision-making to ensure that new developments, whether market-based or supportive, address the needs of communities today and tomorrow,” Frenkel said in the press release. “I am very pleased to see the funding that is being delivered to these communities and its potential to bring local housing needs into greater focus.”
Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said the money will be put to good use and “will help us to better understand the impact of the pandemic on our community and to enable a more resilient recovery.”
Minister of Municipal Affairs Josie Osborne said in the press release that safe, affordable housing is needed now more than ever.
“Local governments and First Nations know their communities best … Understanding the specific housing needs in communities is part of working together to continue to build and support healthy and resilient communities throughout B.C., now and into the future,” the minister said.