Renting in Nanaimo: Your voices heard

Sep 2021 | Housing

Earlier this year, The City of Nanaimo released the Renter and Landlord Survey results from REIMAGINE NANAIMO. The survey was open for three weeks, gathering 465 results from renters and almost 400 responses from property managers and landlords. Here’s what was found.

Rental and housing in Nanaimo infographic
Source: The City of Nanaimo
Rental and housing in Nanaimo infographic
Source: The City of Nanaimo

“One of the key stats that stood out for all of us, in terms of the survey, was the amount of income that folks are spending on rent in Nanaimo,” said social planner Dave Stewart.

“30 percent is the threshold for B.C. Housing, [Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation] and rental experts in general use as an affordability calculator,” Stewart said. “If you’re spending more than 30 percent of your income on rent, your housing is not affordable. So, what this tells us is that 80 percent of those respondents do not have affordable housing.”

Source: Nanaimo Bulletin

The survey results provide a clear insight into unaffordable rentals in Nanaimo. The consequence of unaffordable rent is renters being vulnerable to financial pressure and are then forced into choosing between housing and other basic needs such as transport, medical care, food, childcare, and more.

With rent being unaffordable for many households in Nanaimo, renters often opt for financial support. Despite this, residents of Nanaimo still struggle to find housing as few landlords and property managers rent to individuals who receive support. The issue of lack of availability for rental units in Nanaimo was also highlighted alongside the overwhelming amount of applications many landlords receive.

The current rental vacancy rate is 1.0% – a healthy vacancy rate is 5% – the ​low vacancy rate means there are very few available rental units ​in Nanaimo.

Source: CMHC – Nanaimo rental vacancy rate October 2019

Local actions

There are many Governments, organizations and task forces working to omit the current housing affordability crisis in Nanaimo:

Support for renters

There are many local programs and resources available which help people find housing:

Discover more

Find out more about REIMAGINE NANAIMO here.

Access the full Renter and Landlord Experience Survey report here for more in-depth information and for the full findings of their research.

Discover The City of Nanaimo’s infographics from their Renter and Landlord Experience Survey below.

Infographic: The City of Nanaimo

Resources to help you

Do You Need Help?

If you’re looking for mental health support, shelter, addictions treatment, food banks and more, BC 211 can help.

Or search HelpSeeker for access to over 770 services, programs and resources in Nanaimo.