Nearly half of all renters in Nelson are spending more than they can afford on housing, according to the latest census release. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

Census: 47% of Nelson renters paying more than they should

The latest release includes immigration, homes and Indigenous stats

Nearly half of renters in Nelson are spending more than they should be on housing.

The latest 2016 census data released Tuesday by Statistics Canada shows 47.2 per cent of tenant households spend more than 30 per cent of income on shelter.

Affordable housing is defined in Canada as costing less than 30 per cent of a household’s before-tax income.

Of the 4,820 private dwellings in the city, 2,935 are housing owners while renters make up the remaining 1,885. Home owners are also paying more than they should be, with 1,520 households spending more than 30 per cent on shelter.

Those local stats are far higher the national percentage, which shows 24.1 per cent of all households spending above the monthly 30 per cent threshold.

In Nelson, owners pays an average of $1,114 per month, while monthly rental costs average $965.

The average value of a dwelling in Nelson is $377,526. Unsurprisingly, the majority of homes, 2,395, were built prior to 1960. Just 185 were built between 2011-16.

Most dwellings range between two bedroom to four bedrooms. There are only 755 one-bedroom dwellings locally, while 45 are listed as having no bedrooms.

Related: Census: Nelson’s household income below national average

Related: Census: Nelson’s population up 3.3%

The data dump also included immigration and aboriginal population statistics.

Nelson’s population of 10,225 includes 1,360 immigrants. Of those, 625 immigrated to the city prior to 1981, while 145 moved here between 2011-16.

Americans make up the largest immigrant group at 385, followed by 340 from the United Kingdom. The top Asian population moving to Nelson is the Philippines with 50 locals, 45 of whom are listed as recent immigrants.

That matches the national trend, with the Philippines leading all countries immigrating to Canada between 2011-16.

Nelson also has 560 residents who identify as Indigenous.

The stats also show 3,365 people listed as Indigenous out of a population of 58,340 living in the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

Nationally, the Indigenous population grew to 1.67 million, or 4.9 per cent of the total population up from 3.8 per cent in 2006.

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