Almost one in four Saanich residents said housing and the cost of housing is the most important issue facing Saanich, according to the 2019 Saanich Citizens Survey. (Black Press File).

Almost 25 per cent of Saanich residents identify housing as top issue

One per cent of Saanich residents identify amalgamation as top issue

A survey of Saanich residents identifies housing as the top issue facing Saanich, while ranking amalgamation near the bottom.

The Saanich Citizen Survey (2019) finds almost all respondents — 99 per cent — say that Saanich’s quality life is either “good” (42 per cent) or “very good” (56 per cent). Almost eight out of 10 Saanich residents (78 per cent) either “somewhat” or “strongly agree” that they are “pleased” with the overall direction of Saanich. Saanich residents also feel safer than residents in comparative communities, give high marks to the reliability and quality of various municipal services, and appear broadly satisfied with their political and administrative leadership.

RELATED: Saanich increases budget for citizen and business surveys by 66 per cent

But this big picture becomes more nuanced when looking at specific issues. When asked about the single most important issue facing Saanich, 22 per cent of respondents said housing and the cost of housing. Other findings in the report also underscored the importance of housing for Saanich residents. When asked to rate their level of satisfaction with various service offered by Saanich, policies that encourage affordable housing received among the lowest satisfaction rating.

A total of forty-seven per cent told the survey that they were either “not very satisfied” (32 per cent) or “not all satisfied” (15 per cent) with Saanich’s current policies that encourage affordable housing. Forty-two per cent said they were “somewhat satisfied” with 11 per cent saying they “were satisfied.”

Sixteen per cent of respondents also expressed the hope for affordable housing.

If nearly one in four Saanich residents identified housing and the cost of housing as the most important issue, facing the community, traffic and traffic congestion tied with the environment and enhancement of green spaces for second place as the single most important issue facing. In fact, a case can be made that the broader category of transportation might be as important as housing, if one also includes bike lanes and trails (eight per cent), road safety (seven per cent), infrastructure (seven per cent), and road construction (three per cent), tied with the public transit under that heading. Fifty-one per cent of respondents also identified roads and traffic control as the top priority for future spending, with environmental protection and enhancement a close second with 50 per cent.

Notably, amalgamation appears towards the bottom of the list of most important issues facing Saanich, with one per cent identifying it as such.

RELATED: Advocacy group threatens to call province over Saanich police budget

RELATED: Average Saanich homeowner will pay an extra $216 under draft budget

RELATED: Voters in Saanich and Victoria support creation of citizens’ assembly on amalgamation

Almost 67 per cent of voters in Victoria and 57 per cent of voters in Saanich voted in favour of the non-binding referendum question on their election ballot: “Are you in favour of spending up to $250,000 for establishing a Citizens’ Assembly to explore the costs, benefits, and disadvantages of the amalgamation between the District of Saanich and the City of Victoria?”

The survey — which asked 1,022 randomly selected residents between Jan. 21 and Feb. 1 — appears just days before the start of budget deliberations. Coun. Colin Plant told the Saanich News last week that the findings of the survey would “greatly influence” his deliberations.

One of the big issues facing council heading into deliberations is the appropriate level of taxation, and the survey suggests that Saanich residents appear broadly satisfied with it. About eight of out of 10 Saanich residents (81 per cent) either strongly or somewhat agree that they receive good value for their tax dollars, according to the survey.

Nearly four out of 10 residents (38 per cent) said they would like Saanich to retain the same level of services with a managed tax increase, while 15 per cent would like to improve municipal services with higher taxes. Twenty per cent would accept reduced levels of municipal services for lower taxes.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Vaping a growing problem in Sooke school district

Island’s chief medical officer raises the alarm

Island Health issues safer drug-use tips ahead of music festival season

Health authority aims to reduce overdose risks at festivals

Fate of accused in Saanich couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Victoria woman accesses healing Burn Fund resources 45 years after injury

Stasi Manser was burned when she was five years old and now works as an adult burn survivor advocate

Brentwood Bay fruit stand plundered on first day of season

Leeanne and Jack Guthrie dismayed to find money and fruit stolen from roadside stand

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

PHOTOS: North Island home gutted in fire deemed ‘suspicious’

No injuries reported; firefighters prevented blaze from spreading

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

Vancouver Island woman assaulted after confronting thief

RCMP warn residents to call for police assistance

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Campers hailed heroes in rock face rescue at Vancouver Island provincial park

The campers quickly noticed the man in distress and jumped into the river to swim across.

Most Read