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Poverty Reduction Job Posting and Updates

Greetings endorsers,

We’ve got an exciting job posting and few updates to share with you.  Thanks for your continued support and all your hard work!

BC Poverty Reduction Coalition Job Posting: Community Organizer

POSITION: ORGANIZER/CAMPAIGNER
PART-TIME POSITION:  0.4 time (14 hours per week), flexible hours, including limited evening and weekend work, as necessary.
DURATION:  Term position through to end of 2011, with a possibility of extension.
LOCATION: Vancouver

The PRC aims to mobilize broad community support for our provincial call for a comprehensive poverty reduction plan.  We are currently seeking an organizer to undertake outreach and campaign work in support of this effort. The successful candidate will work closely with the coalition co-chairs and other coalition members.

To view the job posting and learn how to apply visit <http://bcpovertyreduction.ca//whats-new/>.

Deadline for applications: Monday, October 4, 2010, 5:00pm

Your Chance to Make Poverty Reduction a BC Budget Priority

The BC Legislature’s Standing Committee on Finance is currently touring the province and collecting submissions (verbal and written) on what people think the province’s priorities should be for the 2011 BC Budget.

Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives economist Iglika Ivanova recently appeared before the committee last week. In “Our Priorities for BC Budget 2011” she argues that the $2.1 billion unexpected windfall revenues that Minister Hansen announced earlier this month should be re-invested in the people of BC (instead of being directed towards tax cuts or applied to reducing the deficits and the provincial debt). She recommend investing the money into a comprehensive poverty reduction plan for the province. Read more at <http://www.policynote.ca/our-priorities-for-bc-budget-2011/>.

The PRC would like to encourage all of you to make a submission to this year’s BC Budget Consultation process. It’s very important to make
individual submissions and let the government know what choices you would make for provincial finances.

For inspiration, you can take a look at the slides Iglika prepard when presenting to the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services here <http://www.policyalternatives.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/publications/BC%20Office/2010/09/ccpa_bc_budget_2010_submission.pdf>.

We have until October 15th to speak up about our priorities, so let’s make our voices heard.
<https://www.leg.bc.ca/budgetconsultations/index.htm>

Update on C-304

Here’s a quick update on what’s happening across Canada to support Bill C-304, Libby Davies’ private members Bill calling for a national housing strategy.

Over 60 major organizations, municipalities, societies and chambers of commerce have endorsed Bill C-304 since it was first tabled in the House of Commons in February 2009.

Bill C-304 is up for final debate and vote in October.

The most recent letters of endorsement have come from:

– The City of Calgary and Mayor Dave Bronconnier
– Ontario Human Rights Commission ­ providing leadership for the promotion, protection and advancement of human rights
– Metro Vancouver ­ representing 21 municipalities and delivering regional services, planning and political leadership on behalf of a total of
24 local authorities (www.metrovancouver.org)
– Canadian Federation of University Women ­ a women’s equality-seeking organization representing thousands of women graduates, students and associate members in clubs across Canada (www.cfuw.org)
– Canadian Medical Association – a national association of physicians (www.cma.ca)

C-304 ACTION! Here are just a few of the campaigns underway to support Bill C-304:

  • Canada Without Poverty and the Red Tent Campaign are holding a DAY OF ACTION on Parliament Hill on October 19th. Please visit <http://www.redtents.org> for details.
  • Canadian Housing and Renewal Association (CHRA) has a cross-Canada postcard campaign underway with postcards supporting C-304 addressed to the minister responsible for Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation, Diane Finley. CHRA also passed a resolution of support for C-304 at its AGM in June.
  • Citywide Housing Coalition of Vancouver participates in area Red Tents and ACORN events and hands out flyers about C-304 which include information on how to contact area MPs who have voted against the bill.

We are calling on everyone to contact their MPs to call on them to support Bill C-304. To find out how to reach your MP please visit <http://www.parl.gc.ca>.

Unpacking the Housing Numbers

Social housing reality check: Ministry’s own service plans show few net new units since 2006.

“Unpacking the Housing Numbers: How Much New Social Housing is BC Building?” a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and Social Planning and Research Council of BC, shows that despite some positive recent developments on rental assistance and homelessness, BC’s progress in building new social housing units has been minimal. The authors conducted a detailed examination of BC Housing’s service plans for 2006 to 2011.

The report finds that while the number of households assisted by provincial housing programs increased by 11,530 since 2006, most of this assistance does not represent actual new social housing units. Of the 11,530 additional households assisted:

  • 63% (7,270 households) represents rental assistance to families through the Rental Assistance Program, while another 1,010 are individuals assisted through the Homeless Rent Supplement.
  • Another 1,420 of the total increase are new emergency shelter beds (not housing units).
  • 1,550 of the ‘new’ supportive housing units for homeless people with mental health and addiction problems are in purchased SRO hotels (renovations/replacements of existing housing rather than additional low-income housing supply).
  • While there has been growth in some types of social housing, in particular supportive housing for the homeless and housing for frail seniors, there has been a larger decrease in traditional low-income housing units.

In fact, the government’s own data indicate an overall net increase of only 280 new housing units over the past five years, a sobering and concerning finding.

Download “Unpacking the Housing Numbers: How Much New Social Housing is BC Building?” at <http://www.policyalternatives.ca/publications/reports/unpacking-housing-numbers>.

Sincerely,

The BC Poverty Reduction Coalition