Sunshine Coast Social & Housing Needs Assessment

Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast does not have appropriate housing and support services to meet the current and changing needs of the community. This is layered on top of a growing yet aging population, the ongoing impacts of colonialism on Indigenous people, the opioid crisis, and the urgent need for climate resiliency.

The region is challenged by housing that is not suitable or affordable, combined with a low inventory of rentals. While the greatest demand is for smaller housing units, almost 80% of the current inventory consists of single detached dwellings. This type of housing is unaffordable for most median-income households; is not typically designed for climate resiliency; and does not support walkable neighbourhoods.

There is a clear and urgent need for missing middle housing. This includes accessory dwelling units, basement suites, and tiny homes as well as a range of low-rise buildings with multiple units—compatible in scale and form with detached single-family homes - such as mid-sized apartment buildings, townhomes, and multiplexes. Most of this housing needs to be non-luxury rentals including below-market and deeply affordable units (rent geared to income). Projections are outlined in the “Forecasted Housing Need” section of this report.

The community also requires an array of independent living and supportive housing models for seniors who are the fastest growing population on the Sunshine Coast. Most seniors are currently living in single detached homes with few options for downsizing to more suitable housing that is connected to supports. Low-income seniors require deeply affordable housing.

The number of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless continues to grow in the community. There is an urgent need for transitional housing, treatment centres and supports, and deeply affordable housing that both prevents and provides pathways out of homelessness.

The research clearly demonstrates that not all types of housing will have the same impact on alleviating the pain points in our regional housing system, and that it is imperative that we focus every available resource on embracing innovative housing and social support models that respond to these gaps. Considering our limited capacity and resources, the escalating cost of land and construction, and the shortage of workforce, our community needs to be innovative, bold, and nimble in our approach.

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