Our view: Langley needs to get moving on rental housing

Local government is vital in ensuring there is rental housing constructed.

There’s no question that the economy is going pretty well these days in British Columbia.

Wages are finally rising for many workers, notices for workers are appearing on shops all over town, and unemployment is low.

That growth means that people are flocking to the Lower Mainland, including the Langleys.

Unfortunately, some of them are going to wind up living in their cars if our local and provincial governments don’t do something about rental housing.

A recent Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation report found rapidly rising costs to rent and shrinking supply of rental housing.

There’s a vacancy rate of just 0.9 per cent in Metro Vancouver. The situation is marginally better in the Langleys, where Langley City in particular has a larger than average stock of rental housing.

But a vacancy rate of 0.7 per cent for one-bedroom apartments and 1.5 for all types remains abysmally low.

Meanwhile, the average rental price in the Langleys was at $1,170 for an apartment, up from $1,002 just one year ago. That’s a steep increase.

In the short term, we won’t be able to build our way out of this situation. There’s no way to add enough rental housing stock to make a dent by next year.

But in the long term, the councils of Langley City and Township should take a hard look at how we plan our communities.

Rental housing is where seniors, students, and young people working their first jobs often live. It’s a vital resource, and we should make sure there’s a sufficient supply.

– M.C.

Just Posted

Second Langley man found guilty in $6 million fraud

The co-accused in the Aggressive Roadbuilders fraud admitted his guilt in court.

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

Langley has no legion branch but will have poppy sales

A special poppy campaign starts later this month and needs volunteers.

Giants hand Victoria their first loss of the season

Langley’s WHL team went head to head with the Royals for the second day in a row, beating them 3-2.

VIDEO: Rollover closes down Willowbrook Drive in Langley overnight

Mounties are working to find the cause of a crash early Sunday morning on the Langley-Surrey border.

Video: An up-close look at beluga whales in Hudson Bay

An up-close look as some belugas greet whale watchers off the coast of Churchill, Manitoba

Canucks: Pettersson in concussion protocol, Beagle out with broken forearm

Head coach Travis Green called the hit ‘a dirty play’

Aldergrove Starfish program gets boost

Jazz Pilots for Kids donates $4,871 for after-school food program

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

Elderly pedestrian killed in Burnaby collision

Police are looking for witnesses

NHL players say Canada’s legalization of marijuana won’t impact them

NHL players say the legalization of marijuana in Canada won’t change how they go about their business.

Automated cars could kill wide range of jobs, federal documents say

Internal government documents show that more than one million jobs could be lost to automated vehicles, with ripple effects far beyond the likeliest professions.

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

Most Read