Areas marked in red are deemed to have critically high levels of overspending on rent according to an advocacy group.

B.C. rental housing affordability in ‘crisis’

Many Metro Vancouver renters pay more than they can afford: advocacy group

Housing advocates say Metro Vancouver renters are battling a crisis of affordability, with many paying more than they can afford for a roof over their heads.

The B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association has unveiled a new rental housing index website at that includes an interactive map showing rental data for each community.

Nearly half of renters in several Metro municipalities are spending more than the maximum recommended 30 per cent of their income on rent and utilities, according to the association’s findings.

And at least one in four renters pay more than half their income to rent in Richmond, Burnaby, Coquitlam, White Rock, Langley City, Vancouver and West Vancouver – cities where rent overspending is flagged as “critical.”

Association executive director Tony Roy said the overspending by many rental households puts them at risk of financial crisis.

“Many know their rent is too high but feel like they don’t have a choice but to pay up,” Roy said. “We’re not building more rental housing, so renters are forced to overspend in crowded or deteriorated conditions, or they become homeless.”

He argued it’s cheaper to invest in affordable housing now than face higher health and justice costs stemming from homelessness later on.

One in two B.C. renters doesn’t have access to adequate and reasonably priced housing, according to the association.

Affordability is worst on the Burrard Peninsula and North Shore, according to the findings, while rents get cheaper South of the Fraser and east of Coquitlam.

The index found Surrey and White Rock are the worst cities in the region for rental overcrowding, followed by Burnaby and Coquitlam.

The average monthly expenditure on rent and utilities in Metro Vancouver is $1,054, compared to $860 in the Fraser Valley. In both regions that works out to 23 per cent of the average renter’s income.

Metro municipalities have been advocating for provincial and federal tax reforms to encourage construction of more rental housing.

One major problem is the aging stock of existing rental apartments.

According to a 2012 study, a third of Metro’s renters – 110,000 households – live in low-rise wood frame buildings more than 40 years old that are increasingly targeted for redevelopment.

It estimated 6,300 units built before 1980 across Metro are already at moderate to high risk of redevelopment.

Just Posted

VIDEO: Officer knocked down by truck trailer in Langley City

IRSU investigator was looking for distracted drivers

Last skate at Aldergrove Arena

Aldergrove residents get their final skate around the 45 year old rink

Langley arena invites people in for a little jab

Stop by the Langley Events Centre Thursday to donate blood.

Terri Clark in Langley to celebrate upcoming duet with Dallas Smith

These two country music celebrities were sharing a drink at Cactus Club today.

Talking about poverty reduction in Langley

Provincial Ministry of Social Development to hold Poverty Reduction Strategy community meeting

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Pro-Trump protest sign with F-word is OK, court rules

Judges say Ontario man can protest publicly, even using vulgar language

Body of missing Australian woman found in Whistler lake

RCMP say they do not suspect foul play in Allison Raspa’s death

YVR wants you to help name three new puppies

Say hello to the Vancouver Airport’s new assistance pups

COLUMN: Fundraiser helps Abbotsford family fulfill $100K goal for BC Children’s Hospital

Five years after setting their goal, Team Miracle Maya surpasses their target

Speculation tax causing concern at Cultus Lake, Harrison Hot Springs

Recreational property owners face hefty bill for 2019 for what some call a ‘wealth’ tax

Star Calendar

Upcoming events and activities in the Aldergrove area

Suspect who attacked autistic man in Ontario could be from B.C.’s south coast: police

29-year-old man was sent to hospital with serious injuries

Privacy watchdog to explore Facebook leak

Canadian expert says his analytics company helped Trump campaign capitalize on private Facebook info

Most Read