HIGH RIVER, AB: The Town of High River’s Community Renewal Poll was presented to Council at its regular meeting on Monday, Jan. 26 and is now available to be viewed at www.highriver.ca. The data gathered will be used to assist with planning for future initiatives in High River.
“The valuable information collected in the Community Renewal Poll will be used to help the Town understand the continuing impact of the flood on residents and help determine priorities for the future,” said Mark Brown, director of renewal operations for the Town.
The poll was commissioned to collect information about current and displaced residents and was conducted by R.A. Malatest and Associates between September 4 and October 27, 2014. A total of 2,896 surveys were completed representing 6,926 individuals.
The objectives of the poll were to:
- Determine the current residency status of pre-flood residents
- Understand displaced residents’ intentions to return to High River
- Describe barriers that could influence their decision to return
- Assess housing ownership and rental ratios
- Understand the demographic profile of families and households
- Identify factors that encourage new residents to move to High River
Highlights of the poll include:
- 52% of those polled are between the ages of 18 and 64; 20% under the age of 18 and 28% over the age of 65 — the proportion over the age of 65 is higher than the national average
- 88% of those polled own the dwelling in which they live — 54% single detached homes; 18% detached or duplex;
- 8% townhouses; 5% condominiums; 4% mobile homes and 3% villas.
- 3,063 individuals are employed or self-employed
- 10% of respondents indicated that a family member operated a home based business
- 9% were awaiting payment from the DRP and 5% from insurance at the time of the poll
- 27 respondents moved out of High River following the flood and plan to return. Factors sited that would support their return were:
- an improvement in the rebuild process including availability of trades so homes could be rebuilt more quickly
- availability of affordable housing
- 26 respondents moved away after the flood and do not plan on returning
- 126 respondents have moved to High River since the flood — reasons include
- 48% – housing prices/availability
- 42% – community lifestyle
- 30% – employment
- 29% – services available in High River
- 24% – family or friends
- 15% – natural beauty of the area
The Community Renewal Poll can be found on the Town of High River’s website on the “Flood Renewal and Resource page” link or via the Town Hall tab under “Plans & Reports” The poll was funded through a grant from The Calgary Foundation.