Rental scene tight in Parksville

Mayor-elect Marc Lefebvre muses about the possible use of city-owned land for affordable housing

The average cost of rent in Parksville is $871 per month and residents are spending nearly one-third of their income just to keep a roof above their head. If they are fortunate enough to have found a place to rent.

Those are among the findings in the Rental Housing Index, released earlier this month by the B.C. Non Profit Housing Association who measured average rental prices around the province based on numbers from Statistics Canada.

The research is “the first of its kind” according to the association’s senior policy analyst James Roy, who said despite a common misconception that young people are more likely the rent, their client-base consists mostly of independent seniors.

“Renters are definitely not just kids,” said Roy, adding the association represents more than 700 non profit housing societies. “Our number one client is independent seniors.”

Parksville Qualicum Beach is known around the country for its high percentage of seniors.

According to the index, the average cost of rent in the Regional District of Nanaimo jumps to $900; however the RDN boasts 14,330 renter households whereas Parksville only has 1,260.

Qualicum Beach was not included in the study.

Parksville mayor-elect Marc Lefebvre said “availability” is the biggest problem with rental accommodations in the city.

During his campaign, Lefebvre floated the idea of developing the piece of property bordered by the Alberni Highway, Jensen Avenue and Craig Street into some form of affordable housing.

“I’m not saying I’m in favour of it but it’s a discussion I’d like to have,” he said. “Affordable housing is a tough nut to crack.”

Lefebvre would not comment on whether or not he believed the price of rent in relation to the economic opportunities in the city hindered growth in Parksville.

“That’s something I need to look into,” he said.

Lefebvre did mention that he believes the low number of vacancy rentals in Parksville stems from “the lack of tax incentives to build rentals.”

He said he wants to work with senior levels of government in the future to tackle the issue.

And this is exactly the type of conversation the Rental Housing Index was hoping to inspire.

“There’s not much (information) out there on rent, most media is focused on ownership and how expensive it is to buy, but there just hasn’t been that much in terms of rent,” explains Roy. “We wanted to highlight that because about one-third of British Columbians rent.”

Roy said renters in B.C. are being “left out of the discussion on affordability” and this index is meant to “put data out there and get the ball rolling.”

The index cites West Vancouver as having the highest rent in the province at $1,555, while Ladysmith has the lowest rent at $823.

For more information on the cost of rent in B.C. visit www.bcnpha.ca.

Just Posted

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station burned to the ground after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

John Furlong told the Vancouver Board of Trade on Feb. 20, 2020 that he thinks the city could and should bid for the 2030 Winter Games. (CP photo)
The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van burst into flames just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville will host the 2021 B.C. Junior Golf Championships. (PQB News file photo)
Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville to host 150 of B.C’s top junior golfers

Provincial boys and girls championship begins June 28

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. The website for a Broadway theatre showing "Springsteen on Broadway" said it would only allow guests "fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine" — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
No Springsteen for you: AstraZeneca not good enough to qualify for Broadway ticket

Victoria area mayor among those unable to attend New York entertainment due to COVID-19 restriction

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

Lake Country firefighters made good use of pet respirators they keep on board June 17, 2021. (District of Lake Country)
PHOTOS: 11 dogs rescued, home destroyed in large blaze in Okanagan

Home deemed a total loss, cause remains unknown but crews thankful for pet respirators

A tenant walks in front of her home on Boundary Road on Friday, June 18, 2021 after it was destroyed by fire the night before in Chilliwack. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Family homeless after fire rips through Chilliwack house

Turtle rescued, no one seriously hurt following Boundary Road fire in Chilliwack

Wild rabbits are all over Chilliwack, but people often think they’re someone’s lost pet and try to ‘save’ them. But the owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room says good intentions can have bad consequences for wild animals. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Owner of Chilliwack’s Reptile Room asks people to leave wild animals in the wild

Amber Quiring says people who think they’re helping are actually doing more harm than good

Most Read