Let’s head back to May 1971 when Delta’s newest rental apartment building opened in Tsawwassen.
The Kelly Court complex in the 5500-block of 16th Avenue, which is still there today, featured studio, one and two-bedroom units with coloured appliances and wall-to-wall shag carpets.
Fast forward to today and few purpose-built rental apartment buildings had been built in Delta over the decades.
The city’s Housing Needs Assessment, which guided Delta’s subsequent new Housing Action Plan, notes the vast majority of Delta’s homes are ownership households.
Of those who rent, most rent secondary rental units like basement suites.
The report notes that 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.
The report goes on to note that differences between renters and owners become especially noticeable when comparing the incomes of the two, and how many spend more than 30 per cent 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.
They are also far more likely to face housing challenges than owners.
Noting a need for more rental options in different sizes and different prices, including market rental, co-op housing, subsidized rental and secondary suites, the report recommends reduced barriers or increased incentives to create purpose-built rental and secondary suites.