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.”
Visit LetsTalk.Creston.ca/housing to learn more.