A man sleeps at vacant commercial property in downtown Victoria. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

More housing, subsidies urged for B.C. poverty reduction plan

Survey respondents want family options, and ‘not just in the ‘hood’

From designated campsites to shipping containers and railcars converted into homes, to a blanket policy of “universal basic housing,” the B.C. government got an earful in its submissions for an anti-poverty strategy.

“Affordable, safe, clean housing is a paramount need,” said one of thousands of submissions to the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction’s call for input, released Thursday.

“Affordable housing should be in all areas, not just in the ‘hood.”

Other suggestions included “better protect renters from rent-related or renovation evictions,” and “look at the social structure” that leads to wealthy people owning rental properties.” A “landlord tax” and “mansion tax,” are also suggested, as were “squatters’ rights” and “seizing property that’s being under-utilized,” including commercial lawns and parking lots.

Most of the thousands of submissions were housing related. Among the few that didn’t call directly for housing subsidies was “separate families from drug users.”

RELATED COMMENTARY: B.C. already has a poverty plan

Social Development Minister Shane Simpson says the input will be considered and legislation will be introduced this fall to begin shaping the B.C. NDP government’s long-promised poverty reduction plan.

The legislation will include timelines and annual targets for reducing poverty, Simpson said in an interview. Next February’s budget will contain the spending measures the plan will require.

A lack of accessible housing was the dominant issue across the province, not just in the urban southwest, he said.

“We went into 27 communities, and I think it was the leading issue in 27 of them,” Simpson said. “It was about safe, secure, affordable rental, because generally the people we were talking to were obviously not contemplating purchases at this point. People were talking about $1,300, $1,400 a month to rent an apartment in Prince Rupert.”

Other issues prominent in the consultation tour were the availability of well-paying jobs and dealing with mental illness and addictions, he said.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Western Canada’s only Military Tattoo returns to Vernon

The 6th annual tattoo is slated to take place July 27-28 at Kal Tire Place in Vernon.

Athletes helping athletes

While the Vernon Christian basketball team have their own games to play this weekend, they took time out of practice Tuesday to volunteer.

JUNO nominated band visits Vernon and Penticton

Tim and The Glory Boys will perform in Vernon March 9.

Special Olympic B.C. Winter Games continue in Vernon

Events conclude today. Check out what’s happening.

Nearly 200 new businesses for Greater Vernon in 2018: Chamber

Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce says nearly 200 new businesses in 2018

Athletes hit the slopes for the final day of SOBC

The awards ceremony for all alpine skiing events took place this afternoon at the SilverStar Village Podium.

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

One of B.C.’s newest citizens reflects on the value of immigration

“People who come by choice to another country will do everything to contribute to that country.”

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Team BC sitting 4th at Canada Winter Games after 1st week

Team BC ringette featuring Kelowna’s Brooklyn Keller finished 4th

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

Most Read