Homelessness is a significant issue in BC. BC has the worst record of housing affordability in Canada, and the numbers of homeless and underhoused people are increasing.
In the Third Edition of Dying on the Streets: Homeless Deaths in British Columbia, Megaphone Magazine found that 70 homeless people died in 2015, more than one person per week. This is a 56 per cent increase from the year before, and a 40 per cent increase from the previous high of 50 deaths in 2008. The median age of death for a homeless person in BC is between 40 and 49 years, almost half the life expectancy of 76.4 years for the average British Columbian.
- Recommit to building thousands of new social and co-op housing units per year. BC should be bringing on stream 10,000 such units per year.
- Introduce stronger tenant protections including tighter limits on annual rent increases, tying rent control to the unit (not the tenant), adequately enforcing the Residential Tenancy Act (RTA) and the Manufactured Home Park Tenancy Act, and extending tenant rights to include all non-profit social housing currently exempt from the RTA.
For more information, please read the following resources:
- Take Action for a strong Poverty Reduction Strategy
- Getting Serious About Affordable Housing: Towards a Plan for Metro Vancouver (CCPA, May 2016)
- 2017 Hotel Report Crisis: Rents and the Rate of Change in the Downtown Eastside (Carnegie Community Action Project, March 2018)
- Definition of Indigenous Homelessness in Canada (Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, 2017)
- Dying on the Streets: Homeless Deaths in British Columbia, 2006-2015 Third Edition (Megaphone, April 2017)
- Youth Rights! Right Now! Ending Youth Homelessness: A Human Rights Guide (Canada Without Poverty, June 2016)
- 5 things you should know about poverty in BC
- “What does a poverty reduction plan for BC look like?” Poster
- BC Poverty Reduction Coalition’s submission to the Poverty Reduction Consultations
- BC Poverty Reduction Coalition policy recommendations
- Long Overdue: Why BC needs a poverty reduction plan