Like many communities across Canada, the Cowichan Region is experiencing challenges around supply and conditions of rental housing, and there are growing concerns about attainability of home ownership for many people.


As house prices rise, fewer young households and households with low to moderate incomes are able to purchase a home. A lack of housing has implications for health, social and economic well-being of communities.


In 2016, 11,435 CVRD households did not meet one or more standards for housing adequacy, suitability or affordability.  The BC Non Profit Housing Association has estimated the number of rental units needed to address the current backlog at 750, and that an additional 850 units will be needed by 2026.


These statistics convey an urgent need for development of both rental and ownership housing that is attainable and can meet a range of needs. But where do we begin? How do we ensure that we are planning for the spectrum of needs in our local communities?


Last year Cowichan Housing Association lead the development of an Attainable Housing Strategy. The project assesses housing stock and need in communities around the Cowichan Region, identifies options for innovative, adaptive and sustainable housing tailored to the unique needs of the Cowichan Region and strategies that will provide direction for local governments, non-profits, business, and community groups to take action.


The Attainable Housing Strategy for the Cowichan Region will identify measures that communities can pursue in an effort to increase the supply of housing units that are attainable to households at a range of incomes, particularly those at the lower and moderate levels.


Project Tasks:

  1. Conducted background research and data collection to review statistics on demographics and housing need.
  2. Conducted interviews, meetings and community discussions to gather input from residents, businesses, developers, local governments and community organizations.
  3. Analyzed challenges and opportunities.
  4. Reviewed literature on best practices and innovation and find out what has been possible in other communities.
  5. Analyzed national and provincial strategies and investigate sources of funding that can help communities to build housing.
  6. Developed a strategy and action plan that can be used to provide direction for future actions and investments in support of attainable housing.


The term “attainable housing” has two different meanings or uses. In a narrow sense, attainable housing refers to housing that is affordable (attainable) when it consumes no more than 30 % of a household’s gross, pre-tax income.

In a broader sense, the term attainable housing is used to describe the ability of households to enter and graduate to successively higher levels of the local housing market.

Questions, Concerns or Ideas? We’d Love to Hear from You.