Burns Lake residents under the age of 55 have until the end of February to fill out a housing needs survey. (Lakes District News file photo)

Burns Lakers under 55 asked to fill out housing survey

Results will help identify challenges, attract development

The Village of Burns Lake is encouraging residents under the age of 55 to fill out an online survey that aims to identify housing challenges faced by that demographic.

The survey builds upon the results of a previous survey that focused on residents over the age of 55.

“The 55 plus [survey] was successful, [so] we are building on that to cover the broader housing need in the community,” said Valerie Anderson, the village’s deputy corporate officer.

Survey results will be included in a housing needs assessment, which will be available to developers and non-profit organizations seeking to build new housing in Burns Lake.

The assessment is required for any type of housing that requires government funding, Anderson said. The survey will also allow the village to explore the extent to which the present housing meets the needs of the community.

The survey asks residents if they rent or own, to rate their satisfaction with the current housing situation, if the village should be encouraging more rental housing, and whether they see their housing needs changing in the next three to five years.

It also asks Burns Lakers if the village needs a supportive housing complex, which would combine rental units with individualized support services for people with high needs related to physical or mental health, developmental disabilities or substance use.

Residents are also asked if they see a need for different housing types in Burns Lake such as modular housing, laneway housing, coach housing and garden suites.

The 55 plus housing needs assessment, released in 2018, found that the number of seniors in the Burns Lake and Lakes District area is growing at a rapid pace.

RELATED: Local seniors growing at a rapid pace

The number of seniors and near seniors (55 or older) increased by approximately 240 individuals (15 per cent) in the area between 2011 and 2016. And based on population projections, it is expected to double by 2036.

Meanwhile the total number of households available to them remained relatively unchanged between 2011 and 2016.

“The community is aware that there is not enough housing to meet the existing and future needs of this growing demographic,” states the assessment, which received 174 responses.

The under 55 housing survey can be accessed at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DSSSBNM and is also available in hard copy at the village office if required.

Residents have until the end of February to complete the survey, Anderson said.

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