Public safety and quality of life are key issues drawing concerns from Kelowna residents, according to the city’s 2018 citizen survey results.
A city staff report says while the overall perceptions of quality of life remain high at 94 per cent, there has been a change in the percentage of survey respondents saying the quality of life has worsened, 36 per cent, than improved, 22 per cent.
Primary issues facing the city are led by social issues (51 per cent) followed by transportation (43 per cent), crime (11 per cent) and growth and development (10 per cent).
The report notes social issues concerns made a statistically significant gain from 16 per cent in the 2015 survey and 40 per cent in 2017.
Under community safety, the overall response to Kelowna being a safe community was 87 per cent, which marks a slight deterioration from the 94 per cent positive result in the 2015 survey and lower than the 93 per cent B.C. municipal average.
Contributing to that declining community safety issue were concerns raised about homelessness, break-in/thefts and increased crime in general.
The top investment priorities identified by the survey were social issues related such as homelessness, mental health and addiction at 78 per cent, followed by traffic flow management (68 per cent), drinking water (64 per cent) and encouraging a diverse supply of housing (62 per cent).
The 2018 telephone survey was conducted through cell phone and landline methodology with a sample size of 300 Kelowna residents, 62 per cent surveyed on cell phones and 38 per cent on landlines. The survey is scheduled for every two years.