Housing for low-income people or those dealing with addictions doesn’t crater the property values of surrounding homes.
That’s the conclusion of a new study looking at the effects of a dozen such B.C. facilities on home values nearby.
Proposed housing facilities that serve residents with challenges, including those struggling with addiction, frequently prompt opposition from future neighbours concerned about the effect on the value of their homes.
The idea has been debunked before, but its persistence led BC Housing to commission a new study of 13 different recent supportive housing facilities around the province.
The study looked at the five years after the projects started to operate and compared the assessed values of homes within 200 metres of the facility to both city-wide home values and those within 500 metres.
In six of the 13 cases, homes in the immediate area mirrored those across their neighbourhoods. In four cases, property values near the housing facilities increased quicker than elsewhere. In just three locations did neighbours see their home prices fail to keep pace with those in the broader community.
The study concluded: “The property values in the immediate area surrounding the case study sites typically either mirrored or surpassed similar housing in the surrounding municipalities. This suggests the introduction of non-market housing, such as supportive or affordable rental housing, does not affect residential property values.”
Except in three cases, detached single-family homes comprised the bulk of the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Of the 13 studied, some projects did see problems surface after opening, including Alouette Heights in Maple Ridge. Others, including The Village near downtown Chilliwack, resulted in few complaints. But even in the Alouette Heights neighbourhood, property values weren’t significantly affected. In fact, the value of properties within 200 metres of that project rose faster than elsewhere in Maple Ridge in the years after the facility opened.
Meanwhile, in Chilliwack, near The Village, surrounding properties saw their values increase by 45 per cent. That was almost exactly in line with both the broader area within 500 metres (44 per cent increase) and across Chilliwack as a whole (which also saw a 44 per cent rise in values).