Shelters, supportive housing don't hurt land values, says study

The construction of shelters and supportive housing doesn't have a negative impact on surrounding land values, according to the summary of a new BC Housing study.

The report looked at more than a dozen facilities across the province — including the homeless shelter at 3030 Gordon Ave. in Coquitlam — and found that median assessed property values in the areas around the sites tracked consistently with the municipal average.

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Of the 13 facilities examined, two areas saw decreases in land values while, in four areas, values grew faster than the average while the rest mirrored the city-wide trend. 

"This suggests the introduction of non-market housing, such as supportive or affordable rental housing, does not affect residential property values," the report stated.

The study's findings dispel a notion BC Housing said is often put forward when such projects are introduced that non-market housing projects will hurt real estate prices.

For example, in the 200-metre radius surrounding 3030 Gordon, there are 39 properties that increased in median value an average of 40% between 2015 and ’18, while the 361 properties within a 500-m radius rose 41%. The increases are consistent with the 44% rise in property values seen across Coquitlam during the three-year period, the report stated.

Other cases showed the property values surrounding non-market housing facilities increased at a faster rate than the municipal average.

Residents within 200 m of Alouette Heights in Maple Ridge, for example, saw their median assessments rise 84% between 2012 and ’17, during a period when the municipality saw a 72% average increase.

In total, the study examined 1,687 properties in the 200 m and 9,586 properties in the 500 m surrounding the 13 case studies. Facilities were examined in the Lower Mainland as well as Victoria, Prince George, Vernon, Terrace and Cranbrook.

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