The Cowichan Valley will need an additional 5,000 housing units by 2025 to keep up with demand, according to a new report. (File photo)

Editorial: Cowichan Valley facing big housing shortage

o concludes a report for the Cowichan Valley Regional District released recently.

There’s not enough housing in the Cowichan Valley.

That includes both private homes and rentals. So concludes a report for the Cowichan Valley Regional District released recently.

For most in the area, this is no surprise. Particularly for anyone who’s tried to find a decent rental at a decent price.

Moreover, the report tells us that things are just going to get worse in the years to come. That’s because, according to the report, the CVRD population is expected to increase by 15 per cent in just the next six years. That’s a lot more people looking for a place to call home. By 2025 the CVRD will need 5,000 more housing units.

The name of the game is going to be smaller units, the report found. People want something that’s going to be more affordable, and they want housing that’s suitable for a single person living alone, a couple living alone and for those who might have mobility challenges. This should include everything from more multi-family buildings to tiny homes. Yes, tiny homes were officially floated as an option that can be part of the solution. It’s something that a lot of people in Cowichan have been arguing for. The CVRD has lagged far behind the tiny home trend, which has been booming for at least half a decade now. Yet at present, they are basically not allowed in the district due to building codes, etc. And while of course we agree there need to be standards, the CVRD needs to be far more proactive in coming up with those standards so that people can start to get into tiny homes if they so choose. It’s important because housing in the region is increasingly unaffordable, and with the numbers projected in the CVRD report, it will only become more so as housing becomes more scarce with more demand.

Then there’s the rental situation. Very little investment has been made in affordable, good quality rental units in Cowichan in decades. That is just starting to change, but the need has built up to such a degree that it will take a lot just to catch up, let alone provide for the future need that the report says is coming.

In small communities like those around Cowichan Lake the rental situation can be even more dire, as rentals are few and far between. This is particularly true of purpose-built apartments.

For the most part, the trend in recent years has not been to build small and affordable. That’s going to have to change. We urge our local governments to encourage this kind of housing diversity.

Editorials

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Holly the stuffed Rottweiler has been missing from the front of Lucky Dog U-Bath since Feb. 24. (Submitted photo)
Holly the stuffed Rottweiler is missing from Duncan shop

Toy dog missing from front of Lucky Dog U-Bath since Feb.24

Martha Jane McHardy displays her knitwear in one of the windows at Imagine That! in Duncan this month. (Submitted)
Arts and Entertainment column: Lots to see in Duncan in March

Funding success, painters show, folk art, tell your COVID story

The Kinsol Trestle in Shawnigan Lake is a sight to behold. Funding for the expansion of the Shawnigan Museum celebrates its 100th anniversary. (Citizen file)
Shawnigan Museum expansion gets $480,000

Funds from Government of Canada Legacy Fund - Building Communities through Arts and Heritage program

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
Cowichan Valley mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

Clockwise from top left: Malahat First Nation Chief George Harry and councillors Steve Henry and Cindy Harry address community members in a video posted to YouTube on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Screenshot)
Malahat Nation confirms first two cases of COVID-19

Community has been under stay-at-home order since Jan. 7

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Comox Valley RCMP conducted a raid of a problem house on 20th… Continue reading

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

Most Read