The Province has made enormous strides in addressing homelessness in B.C. Many communities report progress in addressing the needs of the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. However, some communities still report a need for further emergency, transitional and long term housing and supports. The cost of homelessness remains high for individuals and communities.
The Province is committed to providing individuals and families with more permanent housing solutions so they have a place to call home. Increasing affordable housing options for the homeless, and those at risk of homelessness, is a significant priority for the Province. British Columbia is leading through action by providing housing with appropriate supports to address the underlying causes of homelessness.
Through increased funding and strong partnerships, the Province and its stakeholders have built and developed housing and supports for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness. The Province now funds a range of emergency, transitional and permanent housing options, complemented by support services as required.
The City of Vancouver’s 2012 homeless count confirmed a significant decrease in street homelessness since 2008 —from 815 individuals to 306 — a 62 per cent decline. However, the Province continues to hear how difficult it can be for low-income people, with and without other needs, to find safe, affordable housing in the private housing market. Rents have increased, vacancy rates have decreased and research shows a significant decrease in the low-rent housing supply across the province. There is clearly more work to be done.
The Province will continue to act as a leader and a catalyst for investment in housing and services for the homeless, using our influence to counteract NIMBY, and facilitating solutions on the ground. It is essential we continue our work to increase both social housing and private rental housing choices for the homeless, including the coordination of support services for landlords and tenants, where required.
INCREASED SOCIAL HOUSING SUPPLY FOR THE HOMELESS
- Promote partnerships in the development of housing and services for the homeless.
- Facilitate the redevelopment and renovation of existing social housing.
HOMELESS PEOPLE HAVE IMPROVED ACCESS, CHOICE AND STABILITY IN THE SOCIAL HOUSING AND PRIVATE RENTAL MARKET
- Partner with non-profit housing sector, local governments and developers to promote and leverage innovative and sustainable models for housing the homeless in social and private rental housing.
- Strategically invest in areas which promote housing stability and prevent crises.
- Improve supports for the homeless, particularly during transitions.