The results of a housing study commissioned by the City of Williams Lake and Cariboo Regional District that started back in September 2020 show that about 815 new units are needed in Central Cariboo and Chilcotin by 2028.

The study, encompassing a broad area from Anahim Lake in the west to Likely/Horsefly in the east, 150 Mile House in the south, and McLeese Lake in the north, the study focused on housing needs in Williams Lake, with an impact analysis of the population flow between Williams Lake and surrounding area.

Economic Development Officer for the City of Williams Lake, Beth Veenkamp, said the housing study wasn’t a big surprise to anybody that’s been looking and working on housing in the Lake City.

“With our hot housing market right now it’s pushing people out of rentals because those rental properties are coming on the market then they are being bought up by other people and we lose those rental capabilities. We’re particularly concerned about seniors, single-parent house homes, people who are vulnerable because the availability of rentals is sort of diminishing.”

Veenkamp added the greatest challenge the City of Williams Lake has is that there’s very little developmental land available for new constructions.

“So as a community we’re going to have to start doing what not a lot of people want to do but might be necessary and that’s looking at some park dispositions.” Veenkamp said, “In the study, we’ve got a supplementary report that highlights some different areas that we were looking at. These are not on the block, these are very aspirational sort of just idea generating and looking at where we could have the biggest impact if we decided to go that route.”

Veenkamp said the regional board of the CRD is going to have a better look at the study on June 18th  but Williams Lake City Council has endorsed this report and will be moving forward on items that are relevant to the City of Williams Lake.

The full study and potential sites of opportunities report can be found on the Cariboo Regional District and City of Williams Lake websites.