The vast majority are low and very low-income households that cannot pay more than $375-$750 a month for rent.
Dr. Penny Gurstein, director of UBC’s Housing Research Collaborative, identified 157/520 households on Cortes Island paying more for accommodation than they could comfortably afford (based on the 2016 data).
She also identified parcels of federal, provincial and municipal properties on Cortes Island that might be available as housing sites.
“We did this in two minutes,” she explained. “We’re using GIS mapping to actually find out what land is available.”
The housing collaborative published a more detailed study on Kelowna last month. They identified 230 well-located government or non-profit land parcels that could be used for up to 34,620 affordable housing units.
This was just the first stage of the program’s development. During the next phase, Gurstein hopes to develop a land acquisition strategy.
“In a place like Cortes, I suspect this would be very useful,” she said.
This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative