Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Homelessness Action Week



Homelessness Action Week raises awareness on Vancouver Island

By Rich Coleman
Deputy Premier and Minister Responsible for Housing


October 14, 2014

VICTORIA – As we spent time with friends and family this past weekend, we should keep in mind there are people in our communities who are unable to find affordable housing, or need to seek support at shelters on a regular basis. This week is Homelessness Action Week throughout the province, and it gives us the opportunity to acknowledge the individuals and organizations along the coast that give the extra effort to help reduce homelessness in our beautiful communities.

We believe affordable housing is key to reducing homelessness on Vancouver island. Last year, the provincial government provided more than $56 million in housing support and services - including approximately $19 million for 1,500 housing units in the area.

The Province’s homelessness outreach teams provide a support-system that provides help across the entire housing spectrum, connecting individuals with addiction services, health services and income assistance. On Vancouver Island, there are over 240 permanent year-round emergency shelter spaces. In addition, there are more than 800 subsidized units for the homeless. We also provided over 500 homeless rent supplements last year to help people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness to find housing in the private market.

We also support thousands of hard working, low-income families through our Rental Assistance Program.  Last year we assisted close to 1,900 families with rental supplements to help make housing more affordable. The Province also supports seniors in our communities through the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters, providing rental assistance to over 3,100 low-to-moderate income seniors.

We will continue to build partnerships to increase affordable housing opportunities in Vancouver Island communities because we all deserve to live in healthy, vibrant neighbourhoods.

Since 2006, more than 100,000 households in British Columbia have benefited from a variety of provincial housing options. This achievement would not be possible without the support and dedication of our community partners, organizations, staff and volunteers. They are the people that make Vancouver Island a better place to live – for all of us.

Find out more about the Province’s housing investments on Vancouver Island:
www.housingmattersbc.ca/docs/fs_Vancouver_Island_Region.pdf

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