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Recent changes to provincial legislation under Bill 18, 2018, the Local Government Statutes (Housing Needs Report) Amendment Act require local governments to undertake a Housing Needs Assessment by April 2022, and every five years thereafter.  On May 19, 2020, staff presented the District of Mission’s first Housing Needs Assessment (2020-2024) to Council.

Housing Needs Assessment

Some of the key findings of the “Statements of Housing” need include:

Mission needs to build more housing every year just to keep its “head above water”

The total number of housing units estimated to be needed over the next 5 years is approximately
1490, or 298 units per year. Looking at past building permit data shows that on average 165 units
have been built, resulting in a shortage of units in the community year over year.

Mission needs a wider variety of housing stock to meet the community’s needs, including more purpose-built rental apartment units and fewer single family dwellings

Currently 65.1% of all dwelling units in Mission are single family dwellings. Suites (basement suites,
coach houses and garden cottages) comprise an additional 19.3% of units. Combined dwellings units
located on single family dwelling properties comprise 84.4% of all units. Mission needs a wider variety
of housing types to meet community needs, including more purpose-built rental apartments.

Mission needs to act to address the proliferation of unauthorized suites

Approximately 2,610 units in Mission are suites (i.e., basement suites, coach houses and garden
cottages). The District estimates approximately 1,950 of those units are unauthorized. That means
approximately 14% of all dwelling units are unauthorized. Many Lower Mainland municipalities have
“legalized” the construction of secondary suites.

The cost of housing in Mission for all household types is going up faster than household incomes

Over the past 10 years, the cost of an average single family dwelling has increased from $405,000 to
over $697,000, an increase of over 57%. Official data sources (i.e., CMHC) for rental prices have
been mostly unreliable; however, information received through unofficial sources shows a similar
trend for rental prices. In the same 10 year period, the median household income only grew by 16.3%.

Rental housing availability and affordability emerged as the most significant areas to be addressed

Currently over 95% of units built in Mission in any given year are ownership units, with the remaining
5% of units being rental units (almost exclusively in the form of secondary suites). Similar to other
municipalities, an insufficient number of rental units has been built in recent decades to accommodate
past and future growth.

There is an acute need for special needs housing, including housing for:

  • women and children who are in crisis, escaping violence and who are at greater risk of being homeless than the general population;
  • people with mental, intellectual and/or physical disabilities; and
  • seniors.

Similar to rental housing, an insufficient number of special needs housing units has been built in recent decades to accommodate past and future growth.