Senior housing availability takes a nose dive

June 14, 2017 9:34 am

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Despite a willingness to pay rents three to four times higher than the conventional apartment market, British Columbia’s 370,000 senior citizens are facing a rental crunch, according to new Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. (CMHC) data.

The rental vacancy for seniors’ housing units across B.C. fell to 4.7 per cent this year, down from nearly 10 per cent two years ago and 6.3 per cent in 2017. In Metro Vancouver, just 4.6 per cent of the 7,586 private seniors’ housing units are vacant, compared to more than 9 per cent a year ago.

Only 500 new privately built “independent living spaces” for seniors have been built across B.C. in the past year, CMHC notes, and half of these were in the Okanagan.

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