Kimberley’s Housing Needs Assessment has confirmed City Council’s speculation that the community is short on rental units and housing options for seniors.
“The housing assessment really showed that we are in rather desperate need to get more inventory into rental accommodations. The second thing was around seniors, specifically downsizing seniors. Not those ready to go into assisted care, just those looking to get into smaller places to live with less maintenance,” said Mayor Don McCormick.
Kimberley and Cranbrook have a similar issue with a low vacancy in both communities, with rates below 1%. Mayor McCormick said construction underway should relieve some pressure.
“For all practical purposes, it’s effectively zero. It’s very very difficult to find rental units in either city right now. Having said that, there are a number of really interesting and large developments underway that will produce rental inventory in the next 12 to 18 months.”
The report predicts that Kimberley will need about 220 housing units by 2031. However, McCormick said the City will take it one year at a time.
“Most of the data gatherers that have been speculating and trying to estimate growth in Kimberley have been underestimating what our growth has been. We’ve been growing at double digits for two or three years now. The amount of housing that we’re going to need to accommodate that is going to fluctuate year over year,” explained McCormick.
The City will do what it can to help free up more housing in the community, but McCormick said it can not do much in terms of affordability.
“The cost of construction is the cost of construction, and the mortgage rules are the mortgage rules, all of those are external dependencies. What the City is trying to do is to create an environment through our bylaws and land availability to make it conducive for all kinds of builders to come and invest in the community,” said McCormick.
More: Kimberley Housing Needs Assessment Presentation (City of Kimberley)
More: Housing Needs Assessment Report (City of Kimberley)