The results are in: Prince Rupert city planner Zeno Krekic had preliminary Go Plan Survey numbers ready for city council last Monday night and the figures gathered offered a solid glimpse into the rental and ownership housing make-up of the city.
However, the type of housing needed in the immediate future was still to be determined as the accompanying Housing Needs Questionnaire results were not yet available.
Forty-one per cent of Prince Rupert residents rent their dwellings, while 59 per cent own theirs.
Sixty-one per cent of those renters share their dwellings with at least one more resident, while 39 per cent rent alone.
Sensitivity to rent was another key index in determining affordability of Prince Rupert housing, as any increase to a resident’s rent would put significant strain on their ability to pay to live in the unit.
“We asked for a spread from $50 to $1,000 [in rent increases],” said Krekic.
In social housing apartments, if the mean rent cost were to be increased $150, the individual would no longer be able to afford the unit.
Multiplex units (row houses) reached an unaffordable mean increase of $198. For apartments, the mean figure reached $135 and the mean increase reached $204 for multiplex apartments.
“Working on this … for three or four years, I don’t know what I was expecting, but I think I was expecting to [see] a higher sensitivity to rent,” said Krekic.
Seventy-nine per cent of residents expected to stay within their existing dwelling, while 21 per cent expected to move.
Among the reasons behind wanting to move, 20 per cent of respondents claimed they wanted or needed more room, 21 per cent said they wanted a change in location, unsafe conditions were cited by 12 per cent of respondents, eviction due to landlord renovations stood at five per cent and eviction due to another reason was three per cent.
Forty-two per cent of residents who planned to move desired to own their dwelling, 36 per cent planned to move to market rental housing, nine per cent to social housing, one per cent to residential care housing and 14 per cent listed ‘other’ in type of housing desired.
Mean monthly rent prices fluctuate for multi-person dwellings including social housing ($462), apartment markets ($686), multiplex social housing ($679), multiplex apartments ($815) and single housing units ($963).
For single resident mean monthly rent prices, the apartment social housing rate stood at $387, $531 for multiplex social housing, $658 for market apartments, $851 for multiplex market apartments, $766 for market single dwellings and $650 for movable markets (mobile homes).
Average family size by each housing type listed were 1.3 members for apartment social housing, 3.5 for multiplex social housing, 1.9 for apartment markets, 2.6 for multiplexes, 2.6 for single markets and 1.92 for movable markets.
“The only number that kind of jumps out is the multiplex social housing at 3.5 [members],” said Krekic.
Socially, 63 per cent of people volunteered their time without pay to help out other people and that includes First Nations cultural event volunteerism, 50 per cent surveyed said they had participated in a cultural event in a volunteer fashion, 31 per cent use public transportation, 59 per cent have visited a recreation centre, 67 per cent have participated in an organized community event, 37 per cent have used the public library and 77 per cent have visited a public park.
Forty-two per cent of residents surveyed expressed a ‘strong’ sense of belonging to the community and 39 per cent said they felt a ‘somewhat strong’ sense of belonging. Ten per cent said they felt their sense of belonging was ‘somewhat weak’ and 0.3 per cent responded ‘very weak’. Six per cent had no opinion.
The Housing Needs Questionnaire had 132 respondent surveys entered into the city’s database and its results should be available in the near future.