Friday, July 24, 2015

Mr. Krekic's LNG Go Plan snapshots

City Planner Zeno Krekic provided
a short overview of the LNG Go Plan
Survey results on Monday
City Planner Zeno Krekic provided Prince Rupert City Council with its first glimpse of some of the returns from the recently completed LNG GO Plan Surveys, though his early notes were more of a thumbnail guide than a detailed breakdown.

Mostly, the evening's presentation provided for a short statistical review offering up such tidbits as the City now estimates that our population is at the 13,899 mark, a number fairly different from past Stats Canada and BC Stats number crunching.

How the City determined that final figure, considering the small survey sample that seems to have been the model for the LNG Go Plan response, never really was provided to Council or the public.

Other findings of interest for Mr. Krekic's review included some data that highlighted the fact that Prince Rupert residents enjoy public events such as Seafest, with the summer festival the most popular of our events.

63 percent of us like to volunteer, 50 percent participate in cultural events in a volunteer fashion, while 31 percent of the respondents to the survey say they take Public Transit. 

59 percent of those that replied say they use the City's recreation facilities, while 67 per cent say take part in organized community events. 

As well, Rupertites enjoy their time in the park, with 77 per cent noting that as a popular thing to do in the city, while only 37 per cent of those responding apparently made a stop in at the local library.

A statistic that might be a bit of concern to the Library Board members announced on Monday evening, depending on what use City Council might make of those statistics on Library usage at grant. funding time.

And while learning that Prince Rupert residents like to go to the park and attend community events is a helpful thing to know, the real topic that Council was keen to learn more of was that on housing.

When it comes to some of the housing data revealed Monday, the City Planner noted that the contrast between rental and ownership found that 41 per cent of those responding were renters, while 59 percent identified themselves as owners.

61 per cent of those that do rent share the expense, while 39 percent cover their living costs on their own.

On a topic called sensitivity to rent, it was determined that for many Rupertites the breaking point at which point renters begin to look for new accommodation depends on the type of housing that they currently live in, with the spread anywhere between 135 and 204 dollars for the most part.

On that theme of moving, 21 percent of those that responded expect to move within a year while 79 percent noted that they would be staying in their current residence.
Councillor Cunningham had a number
of questions related to the LNG Go Plan Survey
Presentation of Monday evening

Some of the reasons for any anticipated move that were listed included: a need for more room, change of location, can't afford rent increase, be closer to work or family, current unsafe conditions and renoviction or evictions.

As for helping to provide a picture of housing concerns however, the early data seemingly hasn't been of much help, an issue that stood out quite a bit for Councillor Barry Cunningham who showed some of his disappointment and frustration at not having found information that he believed the survey would provide for by this point.

On the Councillor's point of "How does it compare to the initial question how does this identify what housing we need and don't need in the city"  Mr. Krekic observed at first look at the real numbers it
gives the city a base line on information that won't really bring them to the question that he asked  Adding that through further work with Planning for Major Projects the ultimate hope is to be able to provide analysis on what demand may be, but perhaps not what is required.

Councillor Cunningham followed that comment up with some more concerns on the current status of the Go Plan Survey and what the City Council should be looking to learn from it.

"I'm not worried about future growth, I'm worried about the housing demands right now. You know this is all fine and dandy, this survey was supposed to show us what housing needs exist in the city today and not down the road, I'm sure we'll find that out real quick. But we wanted to know Senior Housing, Social Housing, Homeless people things like this, and that's what I was hoping to get from these figures "-- Councillor Cunningham speaking to the early results from the City's Go Plan Survey

Mr Krekic offered up the prospect of further housing data information from the second survey that was part of the Go Plan process, that being the Non Market Housing survey, which accounted for 132 questionnaires added to the data base.

While that data was not available for the Monday meeting,  the City Planner noted that Councillors might be able to seek out more information at the end of the week, which may provide some of the answers to their questions on housing issues.

He also suggested that staff could hold a workshop for Council members in August to review more of the information and compare the data to some of the objectives that the council has. As well, he outlined some of his thoughts on the prospect of future surveys observing that he believes it would be worth the city's time to continue with the process on an ongoing basis to develop trend for results.

Missing from the evening's presentation was background on how many responses were collected as part of the first survey and what the overall cost of conducting both survey's has come to, to this point.

You can review the LNG Go Plan update from the City's Video Archive, it starts at the 39 minute mark and continues on until the 57 minute point.

Further notes from the Go Plan Survey presentation can be viewed on our Council Timeline page.

More background on housing issues in the Northwest can be found on our housing archive page.

Fore more items related to City Council Discussions see our archive page here.

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