The City of Fernie is almost done updating its 10 year old affordable housing strategy.
Residents could learn what’s needed to address the local affordable housing problem later this month.
Linda Allen with CitySpaces Consulting says they’ve already undertaken a statistical indicators report that provides a picture of the current housing situation and affordability level.
Allen suggests everyone they’ve spoken with have said the single greatest need is rental housing for single parents.
She says its actually extremely difficult for single people of any age to rent, particularly individuals with lower or moderate incomes.
Allen explains some of that is due to the seasonal tourism community and individuals who take advantage of short terms rentals.
She suggests both affect the local housing market.
The average sale prices last year were $479,000 for a single detached home, $449,000 for a townhouse, and $241,000 for an apartment.
The stats indicators report also suggested unlike between 1990 to 2007, when resort and recreational property development dominated new housing, there generally has been less development activity as of late.
The annual average number of new dwelling units in the City of Fernie between 2010 and 2016 was 25.
The report states despite the downturn in development activity, the local economy has been buoyed by the continuing growth of well-paid jobs at TECK and industries that service mining operations.
It suggests Fernie’s rental vacancy rate is relatively stable at about 3.4% – which is indicative of a relatively healthy market, where there is competition among landlords to attract renters.
Public consultation was also part of the four-stage update project.
Allen says they’ll use the indicators report, as well as suggestions from the nearly 300 responses they received part of their outreach survey.
– CitySpaces Consulting’s Linda Allen