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

Fire destroys home in Surrey

Crews called at 3 a.m. Sunday for a residential house fire on the 12000-block of 100 Avenue

New detox centre opens in South Surrey

WhiteRock EHN opened in response to opioid crisis

VIDEO: Surrey hair salon joins sustainability initiative

Hair can be used to create boom to clean up oil spills: Green Circle Salons

Surrey’s Come Share Society collecting clothing for seniors

Coats, socks and sweaters can be dropped off at the Oceana PARC presentation centre

White Rock breaks temperature record

B.C. city was the hottest in all of Canada

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Vancouver Police look for man in connection to ‘sexually motivated’ assault

Woman says man followed her into an apartment building

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

Most Read