Housing and Affordability

Desired Future

Rossland has a sufficient supply of safe, healthy, diverse and affordable housing and accommodation to meet the needs of permanent residents of all income levels. Housing affordability is enhanced through efficient use of energy and resources and by designing buildings that can be adapted over time to accommodate different uses, changes in technology, and demographics. Employment opportunities close to home provide job satisfaction and adequate incomes for sustainable livelihoods. Residents have access to affordable food products, learning opportunities, and arts, culture, and recreation programs.

End-State Goals

End-state Goal 1: All permanent residents and seasonal employees have access to healthy, livable, and affordable housing and accommodation.

End-state Goal 2: A variety of accommodation types, tenures, and sizes ensures that residents and visitors of all ages and incomes have a diversity of market and non-market housing choice.

End-state Goal 3: Housing is designed and located to minimize long-term operating costs and infrastructure investments.

End-state Goal 4: Property taxes for residents and businesses are competitive with those of other municipalities of similar size.

 

Diversity of Total Housing Stock (HA-1)  (repeat of LM-2)

What are we measuring?

The proportion of housing stock by type (single family, homes with registered secondary suites and multi-family dwellings)

Why are we measuring it?

A variety of accommodation types are required to meet the options of a diverse community. End-state Goal #2 states that a variety of accommodation types, tenures, and sizes ensures that residents and visitors of all ages and incomes have a diversity of market and non-market housing choice.  This indicator directly reflects End-state Goal #2 and Rossland’s recognition of the importance of providing a diversity of housing options. Secondary suites that are not registered with the City of Rossland are not included in the indicator. This indicator is a repeat of an indicator in Land Management (LM-2) as it also relates directly to the End-state Goals for that Focus Area.

How are we doing?

Rossland has only baseline data for this indicator. In future iterations of this report, we will be able to report trends in this indicator as a baseline has been established. Currently, single family dwellings account for 77% of the housing units in Rossland. Of these single family dwellings, there are eight homes with registered secondary suites and 34 mobile homes. In BC, single family dwellings accounted for 49% of the total housing stock, and in Fernie, they accounted for 63%.

Multifamily dwellings account for 23% of the housing units in Rossland. Data are not currently available to distinguish between duplexes, row houses and apartments. The number of units in each multifamily building is utilized as a proxy for this in the table below. Several of the larger multifamily buildings are condos at the base of the ski hill that are rented out as tourist accommodation during the ski season. Dedicated seniors housing accounts for 43 units of the multifamily dwellings, comprising 2% of the total housing stock.

While we do not have adequate data to analyze trends, the recent changes to Rossland bylaws may facilitate the creation of more homes with secondary suites and smaller multifamily developments. Rossland is moving slowly towards its goal of providing a diversity of housing options.

Diversity of housing units in Rossland in 2010

Category

Number of Units

Percent

Single Family

1405

77%

Single Family with Registered Secondary Suites

7

<.5%

Mobile Homes

34

 

Multifamily

424

23%

Buidings with 2 units

11

 

Buildings with 3-5 units

13

 

Buildings with 7-20 units

13

 

Buildings with >20 units

6

 

Total Residences

1829

 

Data Sources

City of Rossland

 

Building Permits and Starts (HA-2) (Repeat of ED-1)

What are we measuring?

The value and number of residential, non-residential and visitor accommodation building permits per year by type, and the number of housing starts

Why are we measuring it?

End-state Goal #2 states that a variety of accommodation types, tenures, and sizes ensures that residents and visitors of all ages and incomes have a diversity of market and non-market housing choice. Building permits and starts are indicators of the type and diversity of new housing in Rossland and therefore are an indicator Rossland’s movement towards achieving End-state Goal #2. This indicator is a repeat of an indicator in Economic Development (ED-1) as it also relates to the End-state Goals for that Focus Area.

How are we doing?

Rossland currently has only baseline information for this indicator. In future iterations of this report, we will be able to report trends in this indicator as a baseline has been established. Of the 84 residential permits issued In 2009, there were a total of 8 housing starts (this refers to buildings not individual units and includes mobile homes) in the City. These housing starts accounted for approximately 45% of the value of the 86 building permits that were issued in 2009 with a dollar value of above $0. Only one permit noted the inclusion of a secondary suite. During this time, only two non-residential building permits were issued and there were no visitor accommodation building permits issued. See the building permit map in the Community Economic Development Focus Area of this Report.

The total value of the building permits issued in 2009 was $6,163,822.00.

Without the necessary data to report trends, it is not possible to say if Rossland is moving toward its Vision for 2030.
Number and value of building permits and housing starts in Rossland in 2009

Type

Number

Value

Non-Residential Permits

2

$64,500

Residential Permits

84

$6,099,322

Single family/Duplex Residential Permits

82

$5,236,322

Multifamily Residential Permits

1

$863,00

Housing Starts

8

$2,803,337

Visitor Accommodation Permits

0

-

Total Permits

86

$6,163,822

Data Sources  

City of Rossland

Property Taxes (HA-3)

Municipal residential taxes on a representative home
in Rossland, Warfield Fernie, Invermere and Trail in 2009

What are we measuring?

Value and rate of Rossland property taxes relative to the region and other municipalities

Why are we measuring it?

This indicator measures our progress toward End-state Goal #4: Property taxes for residents and businesses are competitive with those of other municipalities of similar size. Property taxes have been identified as an affordability challenge associated with living in Rossland and recruiting new residents. However, each municipality has a unique tax base and expenditures, making across-the-board comparisons potentially misleading as many factors come into play in determining overall taxation level.

How are we doing?

In 2009, the total residential property tax burden (total residential taxes, parcel tax and fees) on a representative Rossland dwelling (total assessed value divided by number of residential units) was $3,594 and the tax rate (not including parcel tax and fees) was $11.16/$1000. While Rossland’s taxation rate has decreased by approximately $4.54/$1000 since 2003, the average amount of municipal residential taxes paid has increased from $3299 to $3594, mostly due to increasing property values. The rate of increase is lower than the Bank of Canada rate of inflation over that same period (1.82% annually).  

In 2009, Invermere residents, despite having a lower taxation rate than Rossland residents, had a higher tax burden. This was due at least in part to Invermere’s higher property values. It should also be noted that Rossland only has a residential tax base, unlike Trail, and this affects how much residents have to pay for services and amenities.  Other small communities that have similarly residential tax bases often offer fewer amenities than Rossland does.

Based on this data, it is unclear if Rossland is moving toward or away from its Vision for 2030. While the rate of taxation is dropping and the dollars paid are being outpaced by general inflation, the reality is that homeowners in Rossland have experienced increasing property tax burdens.

Municipal residential tax rates on a representative home in Rossland, Warfield, Fernie, Invermere, and Trail

 

Rossland, Invermere, Fernie, and Trail total residential taxes paid and associated rates from 2003 to 2009

 

Year

Rossland (Total*)

Rossland (Rate**)

Invermere (Total*)

Invermere (Rate**)

Fernie (Total*)

Fernie (Rate**)

Trail
(Total*)

Trail (Rate**)

2003

$3,299.35

$15.07

$2,535.52

$9.99

$2,458.41

$12.16

$1,963.84

$15.25

2004

$3,292.66

$14.62

$2,208.51

$9.16

$2,625.75

$12.43

$1,915.64

$15.09

2005

$3,285.26

$12.89

$2,865.73

$8.38

$2,587.57

$10.92

$1,929.07

$14.00

2006

$3,509.78

$12.61

$3,130.74

$7.10

$3,000.52

$9.51

$2,024.64

$13.22

2007

$3,229.32

$13.83

$3,265.17

$6.36

$2,845.18

$8.72

$2,192.23

$11.57

2008

$3,566.05

$11.25

$3,600.59

$5.73

$3,074.18

$7.50

$2,578.76

$9.75

2009

$3,593.80

$11.16

$3,714.35

$5.66

$3,181.86

$7.60

$2,516.19

$8.96

*Total taxes and charges on a representative house
**Total tax rate (sum of municipal, regional district, school district, hospital district, etc.) per $1000

Data Sources

Ministry of Community and Rural Development
 

Housing Affordability and Core Housing Needs (HA-4)

Percent of households spending over 30%
of gross income on core housing needs
according to 2006 Census

What are we measuring?

The proportion of households that spent more than 30% of their gross household income on housing by tenure type

Why are we measuring it?

This indicator measures Rossland’s progress toward End-state Goal #1. End-state Goal #1 sets a goal that all permanent residents and seasonal employees have access to healthy, livable and affordable housing and accommodation. An inability to access housing for less than 30% of a household’s gross annual income is considered an issue concerning a community’s availability of affordable housing and ability to meet core housing needs.

This indicator does not capture the housing challenges of non-permanent residents who were not included in the Census. It also does not incorporate homelessness and affordability factors such as property taxes, nor does it reflect rapid changes in property values, as it is based on the 2006 Census. Outward migration in response to high housing costs can also impact this indicator, creating a false impression of affordability as lower income residents leave the region. It can also be skewed by a shift from rental properties to owner-occupied homes.

How are we doing?

According to the 2006 Census, approximately 18% of Rossland households were spending more than 30% of their gross annual income on housing, while approximately 41% of Rossland’s renting households were spending over 30% of their gross annual income on housing. The number of renting households spending in excess of 30% of their income on housing peaked at 61% in 2001. The total proportion of households whose core housing expenditures exceeded 30% of their income has decreased 2% since 2001 and is roughly 11% less than the British Columbia average.

While it appears that housing may be becoming more affordable in Rossland, a more detailed housing needs assessment is required to interpret whether these changes are due to a change in housing costs and income levels or alternatively, the out migration of lower paid workers.

Percent of Rossland households spending over 30% of their household income on housing according to the 1996, 2001 and 2006 Censuses

Year

All Tenure Types

Owned

Rented

1996

20%

16%

35%

2001

23%

15%

61%

2006

18%

15%

41%

 

Percent of households spending over 30% of gross income on core housing needs according to 2006 Census

 

Households Spending 30%
or more of Household Income on Housing

Renting Households Spending 30% or more of Household Income on Housing

Owning Households Spending 30% or more of Household Income on Housing

Rossland

18%

41%

15%

Trail

27%

44%

15%

Columbia Basin

21%

42%

16%

BC

29%

44%

23%

Data Sources  

Statistics Canada

 

Renting Households (HA-5)

Percent of households renting their housing
according to 2006 Census

What are we measuring?

The proportion of households that rented their homes in 2006

Why are we measuring it?

Low-income households may not be able to afford to own their own home and find that renting is a more affordable form of shelter. Rental housing is often the only option available to new families and young people. In other instances, households choose not to own their own home for personal reasons. Regardless of the reason, maintaining a spectrum of housing options is conducive to a diverse community. For this reason, the proportion of renting households is used as an indicator to monitor the degree of choice for current and prospective residents and is a reflection of End-state Goal #2: A variety of accommodation types, tenures, and sizes ensures that residents and visitors of all ages and incomes have a diversity of market and non-market housing choice.

How are we doing?

Percent of Rossland and British Columbia households
renting their housing according to the
1996, 2001 and 2006 Censuses

Currently, rental households in Rossland comprise approximately 14% of total households. This is less than half of the provincial proportion of 30% renting households. The relatively low proportion of rental households in Rossland is at least in part a product of the market preference for single-family dwellings and the historical local affordability of single-family dwellings compared to many urban areas.

Since 1996, there has been a gradual decline in rental households relative to total households in Rossland (see chart). This trend, combined with the high proportion of renting households spending in excess of 30% of gross household income on core housing needs (HA-4), suggests that Rossland is moving away from its goal of providing all permanent residents and seasonal employees access to affordable housing and a variety of accommodation tenures, and indicates the need for a housing needs assessment.  This indicator should be closely monitored in the future so that further trends can be observed.

Data Sources  

Statistics Canada
Columbia Basin Trust State of the Basin