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

Okanagan Wildfires: An afternoon update on wildfires and evacuations

A Sunday afternoon look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

BC Wildfire holding steady on Okanagan Complex

Evening update on Okanagan fire situation

BC Wildfire merges Mt. Eneas and Munro Lake fires

Large plume of smoke seen over the fire was a controlled event

BC Games: Day 3 wrap and closing ceremonies

The torch in the Cowichan Valley has been extinguished as Fort St. John gets ready to host the 2020 BC Winter Games

Police confirm girl, 8 others injured in Toronto shooting; shooter dead

Paramedics said many of the victims in Danforth, including a child, were rushed to trauma centres

Why do they do it? Coaches guide kids to wins, personal bests at the BC Games

Behind the 2,300 B.C. athletes are the 450 coaches who dedicate time to help train, compete

Reel Reviews: Floundering inferno

We quote Charlie Brown: “Good grief!”

UPDATE: Five taken to hospital following one of two Coquihalla accidents

One airlifted in critical condition, four taken via ambulance in stable condition

Ottawa fails to find alternative buyer for Trans Mountain pipeline by deadline

The feds had announced it was purchasing the $4.5 billion pipeline earlier this spring

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

Lower Mainland teams battle for baseball gold at BC Games

Vancouver Coastal squeaked out a 3-2 win against Fraser Valley

The Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw people signed an agreement-in-principle with the B.C. government

The signing ceremony, at the Eliza Archie Memorial School, was 25 years in the making

Most Read