Housing Needs Report
What are we doing?The City of Maple Ridge is in the process of completing a housing needs assessment to better understand our current and future housing needs. The resulting 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 is currently being 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 wil take place over the following four months, with a final presentation to council planned for January 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
Engagement ActivitiesA key part of the assessment process involves hearing from community members (that’s you!!), and we need your help! Over the next 2 months, a number of engagement activities will be available for you to share your thoughts and experiences.
In light of physical distancing measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, we are asking you to engage with us virtually.
The housing needs survey will be a primary method of hearing from the wider Maple Ridge community. The survey will provide 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!
Virtual WorkshopsA series of focused workshops will allow for the engagement of multiple stakeholders at once, allowing for thoughtful discussion, creative brainstorming, and individual contribution. The workshops will collect Maple Ridge specific insights into affordable housing challenges, gaps, priorities, and solutions. These workshops will be targeted with City identified invitees.
Key Informant Interviews
Longer one-on-one interviews will be 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 will primarily serve 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 and questions could be asked questions of staff. Thank you to all who participated.
Housing Needs Virtual Open House Information Boards(available here)
Open House Comment Form (available here) or (here)