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Regional District of Nanaimo to commission study on housing capacity

Consultant being sought to conduct a regional housing needs and gap analysis

The Regional District of Nanaimo is looking for a consultant to conduct a regional housing needs and gap analysis.

According to a press release, the result of the research will assist the regional growth strategy, set to undergo a focused review in 2018-19, on the characteristics and locations of housing needed to support liveability throughout the region, particularly within municipalities and rural village centres.

There is also a plan to form a regional affordable housing strategy and the result of the analysis will help the RDN meet the province’s prerequisite for senior government grant funding to support the development of partnerships that would lead to the construction or repair of affordable housing within the region.

In 2009, the RDN had a housing needs overview report that highlighted the shortage of affordable housing throughout the region and its failure to meet the needs of those who are least able to afford adequate housing.

Although it concluded that available developable land was not a contributing factor, the main reason was the widening gap between the cost of housing relative to people’s incomes and the shortage of rental housing stock. It led to the formation of the current RDN housing action plan in 2010.

The press release notes that the RDN acknowledges the greatest opportunity for the regional district to influence affordable housing rests in establishing a strategic, regional approach to affordable housing that includes a combination of policy, regulatory and financial measures with housing management as a possible future development.

The RDN has set a budget of $50,000 to pay a consultant to undertake the analysis. It has issued request for proposals, with a deadline set for Nov. 15. The project is expected to be initiated in January of 2019, with completion expected by July 2019.

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