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City of Delta to make it easier to find an affordable place to rent

More consultation on the way for the City of Delta’s upcoming Housing Action Plan
delta secondary suites
Delta’s draft housing strategy contains seven recommended housing strategies ranging in scale, level of complexity, level of impact and time frame for implementation. Delta’s planning staff also outlined recommended next steps.

The City of Delta will soon introduce tenant relocation and rental stock protection policies.

These new policies are among several strategies outlined in a report to council, providing an update on the city’s effort to put together a new Housing Action Plan.

The report provides the results of recent public feedback received on proposed strategies outlined in the draft action plan.

The report also outlines the framework for implementing the strategies, with a subsequent round of consultation to occur before a plan is finalized.  

The report notes the idea of Delta having tenant and rental stock policies was well received by survey respondents with a 72 per cent positive response.

The strategy can help to offset concerns around the loss of affordable rental and relocation of tenants through the development process, the report notes.

“Those surveyed noted that Delta's rental stock is limited and aging, and there are impacts to those displaced through development, while others noted that existing rental protection policies are already in place, and that regulation may disincentives development of new rental housing. Stakeholders also identified the potential impact on the development sector, as well as the low existing rental stock and the affordability of new rental construction,” the report states.

Some of the recommended actions include formalizing a tenant relocation policy based on existing packages currently being negotiated on rental redevelopment in Delta, as well as developing a rental stock protection policy to address the loss of rental housing in the city.

According to the city’s Housing Needs Assessment Report, the vast majority of Delta's homes are ownership households.

“Of those who rent, most rent secondary rental units like basement suites. Research shows that, in B.C., secondary rental units typically have higher rent rates and lower vacancy rates than purpose-built rental. Relying so heavily on the secondary market means more renters are spending more of their income on housing,” that report states.

The assessment report also notes 77 per cent of the city’s housing stock is made up of single-detached houses, with almost 60 per cent of the current stock built prior to 1980.

“Differences between renters and owners become especially noticeable when comparing the incomes of owners and renters, and how many spend more than 30% of their income on housing. The numbers also show that those who do not own are likely to continue renting for the foreseeable future as the affordability gap continues over time,” the report adds.

Among the other proposed strategies in the draft action plan is for the City of Delta to strengthen its partnerships and advocacy role.

The report notes cities across Metro Vancouver are beginning to play a larger role in the provision of housing in the region through such measures as making land available and providing incentives.

As an organization through its social planning function, the City of Delta could also engage potential partners, advocate to senior governments on behalf of the community and adapt to a changing funding and jurisdictional landscape around housing, the report adds.