Does Supportive Housing Hurt Land Values?

Supportive housing and shelters are being built in communities around the world. There has even been an increase in affordable housing in Vancouver in recent years. The sudden appearance of supportive housing has some homeowners asking whether their construction hurts land values. This is an important question that required serious research to ensure that everyone in Vancouver communities is treated fairly. After all, declining housing prices do not help newcomers to communities, either.

Naturally, people are concerned about their investments in their homes and want to take good care of their local community. Additionally, Vancouver’s affordable housing enables more people to become homeowners and active community members. Canadians seek to do good to everyone in their local communities and outside it, so finding effective ways to meet everyone’s needs is a necessary discussion. Even though affordable housing that is available to all is vital, it is also important to know how new construction will affect current homeowners.

Thankfully, recent research from BC Housing shows that supportive housing does not harm nearby property values. This is good news for current homeowners and those seeking affordable housing in Vancouver. The BC Housing report examined more than a dozen facilities, including homeless shelters, in the province, finding that the median assessed property values in surrounding areas were consistent with the municipal average.

In its study, BC Housing looked at 1,687 properties within 200 meters and 9,586 properties within 500 meters of the 13 case study properties. Lower Mainland, Prince George, Victoria, Terrace, Vernon, and Cranbrook were all included within the scope of the study. Two of the sites showed decreased land values, and four areas showed values that exceeded averages. The rest of the sites were consistent with the citywide average.

This indicates that “non-market” housing, like affordable housing in Vancouver, has no effect on surrounding residential land values. This means that existing residential properties and supportive housing can coexist without issue. Supportive housing can become an important part of the community’s efforts to help those at risk of marginalization or homelessness and help more people live dignified lives. It also means that existing homeowners in places like Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, and Coquitlam can open their communities to new growth and inclusion without fear of losing what has been built.

BC Housing hopes that this puts to rest the mistaken notion that supportive housing harms local real estate markets. The research indicates that this is false, yet the myth persists and is often used as an objection to supportive housing projects. Letting go of this false idea not only helps homeowners to rest assured their biggest investments are secure, but it also clears the path to help every Canadian have a safe, affordable home.

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