Housing Needs Report
What are we doing?The City of Maple Ridge completed a housing needs assessment to better understand our current and future housing needs. The Housing Needs Report will be used as a foundation for planning and decision-making for the next five years.
Why are we doing this?The primary purpose of this process is to identify and describe the key needs and gaps in Maple Ridge’s housing system to inform future policymaking. A Housing Needs Report is intended to strengthen the ability of local governments to understand what kinds of housing are most needed in their communities, and help inform local plans, policies, and development decisions. The assessment process and report itself will not result in specific new policy but will be used to support and inform future changes (to Official Community Plans, Housing Action Plans, Zoning Bylaws, and others).
As of 2019, every local government in BC is legislatively required to undertake a housing needs assessment by April 2022, and every five years thereafter. You can find detailed information about this legislation and the report requirements on the provincial government’s website.
This work was led by CitySpaces Consulting on behalf of Maple Ridge, with key involvement of city staff and the public. Founded in 1986, CitySpaces is an urban planning consultancy focused on housing and social planning with a long-term commitment to “building lasting, livable communities” across Western Canada.
What is the process?This assessment process took place over four months, with a final presentation to council in February 2021. The key stages of the project are outlined below.
The primary objectives of the housing needs assessment are to prepare a report that will:
- Assess the local housing market conditions
- Identify the current and emerging housing needs within the City
- Compare housing supply with housing demand to determine the ability to meet future needs
- Identify short, medium, and long-term actions to meet the housing needs across the housing continuum in the City
- Meet the provincial requirements for Housing Needs Reports
The Final Housing Needs Report was presented at the February 9, 2021 Council Workshop. Please find the report here (Item 4.2). The conversation with Council will be recorded and is available during and after the Council Workshop meeting here.
Engagement ActivitiesA key part of the assessment process involves hearing from community members (that’s you!!). Over the fall of 2020, a number of engagement activities were available for you to share your thoughts and experiences. In light of physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, we asked you to engage with us virtually.
The housing needs survey was a primary method of hearing from the wider Maple Ridge community. The survey provided an opportunity for residents to share and reflect on their experiences, challenges, and successes related to housing in the region and their communities.
The housing survey was open from October 13th until November 13th. The survey is now closed. If you have additional feedback that you would like to provide the City, please email email@example.com
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!
Virtual WorkshopsA series of focused workshops allowed for the engagement of multiple stakeholders at once, allowing for thoughtful discussion, creative brainstorming, and individual contribution. The workshops collected Maple Ridge specific insights into affordable housing challenges, gaps, priorities, and solutions.
Key Informant Interviews
Longer one-on-one interviews were held with community members and stakeholders who have valuable insights into housing issues in the community and who may be unable to attend the focus group sessions. These interviews served to deepen the understanding of key issues and challenges identified through previous engagement activities.
Virtual Open House
The City hosted a Virtual Housing Needs Open House from 6 - 8pm on Thursday, November 26, 2020. Project findings were summarized with a question & answer period with staff. Thank you to all who participated.
Housing Needs Virtual Open House Information Boards(available here)
Summary VideoProject findings are summarized in a short video: Housing Report Summary Video
If you have any questions or comments about the video, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to stay in touch?Updates on the Housing Needs Report process will be provided online as well as via e-mail. Should you wish to be included on the Housing E-Mail List, please let staff know by sending an email to the Planning Department at email@example.com.
Looking for More Information?Please feel free to contact the Planning Department by email or phone at 604-463-5221, Ext 5566 with questions or comments on Housing Initiatives. Check back regularly for more information about the Housing Needs Report process.
Document LinksMarch 31, 2020 – Council Workshop Report – Scope of Work
February 9, 2021 – Council Workshop Report – Final Housing Needs Report