By Rich Coleman
Deputy Premier and Minister Responsible for Housing
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 along the coast. Last year, the provincial government provided more than $142 million in housing support and services - including $90.2 million for 6,000 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. In the Coastal region, there are nearly 280 permanent year-round emergency shelter spaces. In addition, there are more than 4,800 subsidized units for the homeless. We also provided 365 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 over 2,500 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 4,400 low-to-moderate income seniors. This spring, we opened The Remy, providing 81 affordable apartments for seniors, individuals and families living on low-income in Richmond. In West Vancouver, we opened Kiwanis Garden Village, providing 139 units for low-income seniors. These achievements are key examples of the importance of partnerships between community organizations and government. By working together we are able to provide housing supports based on individual need, and we’re able build an inclusive, welcoming community for everyone.
Since 2006, more than 100,000 households in British Columbia have benefitted from a variety of provincial housing options. This achievement would not be possible without the support and dedication of our partners, community organizations, staff and volunteers. They are the people that are making a difference right here at home - for all of us.
Find out more about the Province’s housing investments in the Coastal Region: