More than 4,000 Tri-Cities renters spent at least half their paycheque to cover rent and utilities in 2021, according to a new report from the Canadian Rental Housing Index.
Paying less than 30 percent of your income on rent is considered affordable. Spending 50 percent or more is considered severely unaffordable, or a crisis-level amount.
Approximately 19 percent of Coquitlam renters – 3,300 households – spend more than half their income on rent and utilities in 2021.
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That group is included in the 40 percent of Coquitlam renters who handed over more than 30 percent of their pay to the landlord.
Approximately 13 percent of Coquitlam renter households are overcrowded, compared to 11 percent provincially. Five percent of Coquitlam renters are living in housing that needs major repairs, compared to seven percent across the province.
On average, Coquitlam renters paid $1,604 a month in 2021, an approximately 31 percent increase from 2016.
During that five-year stretch, average rents rose approximately 31 percent. The average rent in Coquitlam, including utilities, was $1,604 in 2021, about $112 higher than the provincial average.
Fewer renters in Port Moody; highest rents
Port Moody was distinct among neighbouring municipalities for not adding a significant number of renters in five years.
In 2016, the Canadian Rental Housing Index tracked the number of renters in each municipality. In 2021, the data narrowed slightly to record renter households.
Coquitlam was home to 17,005 renter households in 2021 compared to 14,495 renters in 2016, according to the report.
There were 5,215 renter households in Port Coquitlam in 2021 compared to 5,020 renters in the city in 2016.
In 2016, there were 3,240 renters in the City of the Arts. Five years later, there were 3,190 renter households, according to Canadian Rental Housing Index.
Port Moody rents were the highest in the Tri-Cities at $1,718, an increase of 29 percent compared to 2016.
In 2021, 30 percent of Port Moody renters were paying unaffordable rents and 12 percent were at crisis levels, spending more than half their income for rent and utilities.
In 2016, 35 percent of Port Moody renters were dealing with unaffordable rent and 17 percent were at crisis levels.
There are 245 households – approximately eight percent of Port Moody renters – living in housing that needs major repairs. Nine percent of Port Moody renters are living in overcrowded conditions.
Port Coquitlam: lowest rents, biggest spike
Rents were lowest in the city between rails and rivers, as Port Coquitlam renters paid an average of $1,536 in 2021.
Average rents in Port Coquitlam rose by $389 – or nearly 34 percent – compared to 2016, the biggest increase in the Tri-Cities.
In 2021, 14 percent of Port Coquitlam renter households – approximately 710 households – were spending more than half their income on rent and utilities. Thirty-five percent of renters are spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities.
Five years earlier, 40 percent of Port Coquitlam renters were spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent and 18 percent were spending more than half their income on rent.
About nine percent of Port Coquitlam renters are living in overcrowded conditions and six percent are living in housing that needs major repairs.