More people will be commuting longer as they live further away from Kelowna to afford a house, according to the study (Photo by Don Bodger)

More people will be commuting longer as they live further away from Kelowna to afford a house, according to the study (Photo by Don Bodger)

Sixty-thousand more people expected to move to the Central Okanagan by 2036: report

Study says population boom will put big pressures on housing stock, infrastructure

Sixty-thousand more people are expected to move to the Central Okanagan region by 2036, putting a lot of pressure on the city’s housing stock, according to a report from the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

According to the report, it will likely become even harder for people to find affordable long-term accomodations as more and more short-term rentals become the norm.

READ MORE: Average real estate prices in Kelowna jumped by 70 per cent between 2012-2018

“The Central Okanagan is experiencing unintended consequences of growth — a lack of suitable, affordable housing, notably for workforce, family, seniors, and low-income households,” said the report.

The assessment said transporation costs will be another financial burden for families as they buy homes further away from Kelowna.

“The combined costs of living are leading households to make trade-offs to afford housing,” said the report.

“For example, some households are choosing to live farther away to afford a new single-detached home, accepting the trade-off and financial burden of a longer commute.”

Adding to the pressures, the ongoing opioid crisis is expected to increase waitlists for affordable housing, putting more pressure on the government to provide affordable housing solutions.

“The opioid epidemic, with its rising substance use issues and associated complex needs, is absorbing the capacity of the non-profit housing sector (particularly shelter providers), leading to operational stress,” said the report.

“Central to this issue is the lack of supportive housing in the region to help individuals recover from their substance use issues and related trauma.”

Of those 60,000 new residents living in the Central Okanagan by 2036, 30,000 of those are expected to be seniors aged 65 or older.


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