Join the discussion to tackle regional housing supply and recruitment challenges

NEWS RELEASE

Housing supply shortages and recruitment challenges are creating mounting pressures throughout Penticton and the surrounding communities. Join in the conversation at the Hiring and Workforce Housing Forum on Wednesday, Sept. 18 to work toward solutions and identify new opportunities.

This important event, brought to you by the City of Penticton’s Economic Development Department, aims to create discussion between those who see a gap in housing inventory for their employees throughout the region and others who could potentially build to suit that demand. Developers, funders and regulators should put this date in their calendar so they can be at the forefront of responding to this critical need.

Penticton faces an “extremely tight rental housing market,” with a vacancy rate in the 1-2 per cent range, causing rising rental rates, according to the 2017 Penticton Housing Needs Assessment. In addition, seasonal demand from agricultural workers and other sectors creates housing challenges. The report estimates that Penticton’s population will increase by about 266 people each year up to 2046, 39 per cent of which will be between the ages of 15-64.

While the two new affordable housing projects soon to be on the market are an important start, continued efforts are needed to answer all the requirements for workforce housing.

“Conversations with the various industry sectors around Penticton tell us that there are unique housing needs for different roles and industries. Those who are working in hospitality, healthcare, students, the newly relocated and others with short- to medium-term contracts all need somewhere to stay,” said event organizer, Jennifer Vincent, who oversees Special Projects in Economic Development with the City of Penticton.

“The recent BC Housing-supported projects on Backstreet Boulevard and Nanaimo Avenue reflect forward movement, addressing challenges in housing for lower- to mid-range household incomes. With creative thinking and a concrete understanding of what people really need, we feel that a solid business case could be developed out of the forum discussions to help address some of the other specific housing demands,” Vincent added.

Recent research: Identifying the need 

According to a 2019 WorkBC study, an additional 91,200 job openings are expected to be created in the Thompson-Okanagan by 2028. The top five industries include health care and social assistance, retail trade, accommodation and food services, professional/scientific and technical services, and financial/insurance/real estate.

In Penticton, of the business leaders who participated in the 2018 Business Climate Survey, 43 per cent were actively hiring. In addition, 87 per cent were projecting increased sales over the next 12 months, and of the factors that led to the increases, 20 per cent were attributed to staffing increases. Only 23 per cent were satisfied or very satisfied with the availability of qualified staff (35 per cent were dissatisfied, 35 per cent neutral).

However, according to a 2018 study from online real estate company ZooCasa, the Okanagan was named the fourth least affordable housing market in Canada.

About the Hiring & Workforce Housing Forum

This ground-breaking event will bring together hundreds of participants from throughout the region, combining two topic streams in one large-scale event at Penticton’s Lakeside Resort & Conference Centre on Sept. 18, 2019. It features interactive sessions, expert speakers and hands-on training, while also working together to tackle regional housing challenges. 

Join employers, business leaders, investors, developers, planners, property managers, real estate and mortgage specialists, various levels of government and governing bodies, and economic development specialists. This event is also relevant to those involved in education, regulation, housing, business support and development.

Find out more and reserve your spot at hiringandhousingforum.com.

 

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Contacts:

Andrew Kemp 
Economic Development Specialist 
City of Penticton
250-490-2590

Philip Cooper
Communications Manager
City of Penticton
250-490-2583