The B.C. government is providing more than $203 million this year for more than 14,000 emergency shelter spaces, subsidized units and rent supplements to support people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness across British Columbia.
The Province recently announced a $65 million investment to create up to 380 housing units for people at risk of homelessness and for those with mental health and substance use issues.
In 2006, the Province launched a provincial housing strategy, Housing Matters BC, and expanded the range of housing options to help ensure individuals who are homeless or at risk have access to housing and support services.
- The B.C. government provides approximately $72 million annually to fund close to 2,000 permanent year-round shelter beds in nearly 35 communities – more than double the approximately 880 beds that existed in 2001.
- Ninety-five per cent of permanent shelter beds are available 24/7 and 95 per cent provide three meals a day.
- This winter, the Province is providing $1.6 million to make over 1,000 extreme weather response shelter spaces available during the winter months in communities across B.C.
Supportive Housing and Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Hotels
- The B.C. government has created more than 6,900 new and upgraded supportive housing units and shelter beds, including:
- The Province has worked in partnership with eight municipalities – Abbotsford, Campbell River, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, Surrey, Vancouver, and Victoria – to build more than 2,000 new supportive housing units for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness (Close to 1,400 of the new units are in Vancouver).
- Investing $150 million to acquire and renovate 26 SROs in Vancouver, New Westminster and Victoria – protecting approximately 1,400 affordable rooms.
- Outreach teams provide support in nearly 65 communities, connecting homeless people with permanent housing and a range of community services, such as mental health and addictions services. Aboriginal outreach teams provide support in 17 of those communities.
- Last year, provincially funded outreach and shelter workers connected more than 7,100 homeless people to housing, income assistance and a range of support services.
Housing Matters BC strategy is working
- Since 2006, the number of provincially funded apartments and shelter spaces available for the homeless and those at risk of homelessness has more than doubled.
- There are now more than 14,000 housing units for people who are homeless, including:
- Close to 2,000 permanent, year-round homeless shelter beds.
- Over 8,780 subsidized or supportive housing units for people who are homeless or homeless at risk.
- More than 3,230 homeless rent supplements, including nearly 1,520 rent supplements provided through the Homeless Prevention Program.