A report presented to Langley City Council says the municipality needs to build more affordable housing to meet projected demand (Langley Advance Times file)

More townhouses, affordable housing needed in Langley City, report says

Langley City housing needs report projects increased demand

Langley City will need thousands of new, affordable residential units to accommodate expected demand by 2024, according to a consultant’s report prepared for the City.

The “Langley City Housing Needs report” by Modus Planning, Design and Engagement, was prepared in response to a 2018 change in provincial laws that require local governments to prepare reports that identify the number and type of housing units needed to meet current and anticipated needs for at least the next five years.

Over the period from 2016 to 2024, Modus forecasts the city will require a net number of 1,353 new residential units to meet projected population growth.

It calls for increased development of “townhouse and/or row house units” to help fill what is described as “a significant and crucial gap” in the current housing market.

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Langley City director of development services Carl Johannsen said the report shows single detached homes “are not attainable for most Langley City resident income groups” and the City should encourage the development of townhouses, row houses and other more affordable options, to help fill a “significant gap in Langley City’s current housing market.”

Seniors, people with disabilities or limited mobility, single parent families and young people, will require “particular attention,” which could be met through development of garden and basement suites, accessible housing units, co-ops, and rental options with more than three bedrooms,” Johannsen said.

Johannsen noted the City is already moving in that direction, with new policies that aim to encourage “missing middle” housing types.

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According to the report, Langley City residents are, on average slightly older and less well-off than other Lower Mainland communities.

Approximately 19.2 per cent of residents are 65 years and over, which is several percentage points higher than the surrounding municipalities and the Metro Vancouver average.

Median income across all households is just under $60,000, lower than the Metro average of just under $73,000.

The most common household type are one-person households, 39 per cent, which is more than the 20 per cent reported in the Township of Langley and the City of Surrey, and more than the Metro average of 29 per cent.

A higher amount of Langley City households, 38 per cent, are renters, which is more than double the 17 per cent in the Township of Langley.

Is there more to the story? Email: dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

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Langley Advance Times