Photo: Minister Coleman and MLA Pat Pimm along with city councillors turned sod on a Senior’s affordable housing project in October 2010 – Adam Reaburn/Energeticcity.ca
Monday night, Council heard a summary of a report on affordable housing in Fort St. John.
The report started in February shows that almost 20 per cent of the residents in our community cannot find affordable housing.
The study says the affordable housing in Fort St. John is based on a median house hold income of approximately $81,000 and that spending anything more than 30 per cent on housing would be considered unaffordable. With those numbers in-mind, the cost of housing has increased faster than income levels.
The City also faces a number of challenges over the next 10 to 15 years. One major challenge is the expected growth of our senior citizen population. Predictions are that the senior population in Fort St. John will grow by 50 to 65 per cent over the next 10 years.
Another challenge is the shadow population the oil and gas industry creates in our region. A shadow population is anyone living within the city in temporary quarters for 30 days or more.
According to City Planner Kevin Brooks, its hard to calculate the shadow population.
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The City and the affordable housing committee will now create an affordable housing strategy early next year. The strategy will help define the types of houses that are needed and find a way to encourage the development that housing.