Housing – Owning & Renting
OWNING in the County
HOUSE PRICES IN PEC HAVE ALMOST DOUBLED IN 10 YEARS
More than 7 times the increase in median household income.
“Lack of affordable housing is close to crisis point”
— County of Prince Edward Councillor
What are the implications?
- Young families, lower income earners and many seniors are excluded from buying.
- Many prospective employees cannot afford to live here.
- Many are moving away to find attainable housing.
- If rents follow house prices, homelessness will increase.
Private Dwellings not occupied by usual residents:
PEC has more than twice the provincial rate.
Why is this a concern?
There is a growing trend to investing in Short Term Accommodations (STAs) – Why are STAs a concern?
STAs in residential areas are a growing concern around the world because they are perceived to be pricing out local people and can result in many houses in a neighbourhood “going dark” outside of tourist season.
How does this affect a sense of belonging?
STAs owned by investors are a growing trend here, but some residents offer STAs to offset the high cost of housing. The call is to establish regulations to create a more equitable rental environment.
“Affordable housing has not been built for sometime. Fawcetville, off Hwy 49 was built 40 yrs ago to help first time homebuyers. Fawcetville is no longer an affordable address in the County.”
Poverty Roundtable HPE focus group 2017
“A vital community needs young families but they can’t afford to live here.”
Community Conversations 2017
“Over the last two years we have seen an increase in employees leaving our agency as they cannot secure affordable housing. There is a direct correlation between employee retention and housing.”
Executive Director of Community Living Prince Edward
“There’s not nearly enough affordable and adequate housing options. This should be a human right.”
Community Conversations 2017
“We are seeing an increase in seasonal rental houses and this has a negative impact.”
Community Conversations 2017
WHAT’S BEING DONEThe new PEC Housing Corporation has been created as an independent, not-for-profit housing corporation to work with Council and community groups. It will also work to source government funding, leverage surplus municipal lands and other opportunities to create attainable local housing. It is already working with grassroots organizations, including the following two initiatives:
Lovesong Senior Housing and Community Hub is converting a Bloomfield elementary school into mixed housing on a co-housing model – that is private individual living spaces with shared communal spaces.
PEC Attainable Housing Network has innovative ideas based on developing the town of Wellington’s old arena site.
Regulating of Short Term Accommodations (STAs) After surveying and consulting with residents and STA providers, the municipality is considering regulating Short Term Accommodations.
RENTING in the County
THERE ARE NO VACANCIES FOR LONG TERM RENTALS
A 2018 Municipal survey showed a 0.8% vacancy rate for registered rental units
HOME OWNERSHIP HAS HISTORICALLY BEEN HIGH IN THE COUNTY
We’ve never had a high stock of rental units. Today, some owners are converting long term rental units into short stay vacation properties thus depleting our residential rental stock.
48.6% of renters are paying MORE THAN 30%* OF THEIR HOUSEHOLD INCOME ON HOUSING.
Many pay significantly more: 41.7% in 2011
*CMHC affordability threshold.
% Housing Units REQUIRING MAJOR REPAIR:
8.3% in PEC
Landlords who don’t keep up repair on rental housing properties and charge huge rent – there should be a way, city or other, to deal with this.
Poverty Roundtable HPE Focus Group 2017
The number of households we serve has gone down but that’s not necessarily good news. We’re hearing that some families have had to leave The County because their homes have become summer rentals.
Storehouse Foodbank 2018
We can make a bigger dent in our affordable housing crisis by maintaining our existing rental stock and reclaiming some of our rental stock than we will through new builds.
County of Prince Edward Councillor
Why do vacancy rates matter?
Having virtually NO VACANCIES and rental costs that are increasing 40% faster than household income poses a serious problem for the large number of minimum wage earners in The County and for seniors on fixed incomes.
It also impacts employers who have jobs to offer but find that prospective employees who are ready to work cannot find anywhere to live.
Rural Homelessness is often “invisible”
We don’t always see it because people couch-surf, a night here, a night there, but homelessness does exist in Prince Edward County. In a 2018 Report on Homelessness in the region, the reason survey participants cited often for their situation was abuse or conflict with their partners or parents/guardians. Many had addiction issues or mental health issues and most had no family support. The average period of homelessness was 185 days. Several children were among the people counted. Many of the people were employed but still could not afford accommodation, and almost half of them said that job loss or inability to pay rent or mortgage had led to their situation.
WHAT ABOUT AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS?
The County currently has 115 Social Housing Units, 129 Non-profit housing units,
42 Rent supplement units. However we also have a waiting list of 230 households.
Most are waiting for a social housing one-bedroom unit for which the average
wait time is 6 years.
WHAT’S BEING DONE
Affordable Rental Units.
In Picton a new housing development includes 7 affordable rental units at 80% of average market rental.
Prince Edward, Lennox & Addington Social Services will be adding 6 more affordable housing units in 2018/19.