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

Taking bids for the Burns Lake community

Potential buyers attend the 50th Annual Rotary Auction at the Rotary Club… Continue reading

Bulkley-Nechako District gets new Chairperson, Board of Directors

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) on Nov. 15 elected a new… Continue reading

B.C. boosts 2018 wildfire recovery aid by $10 million

The British Columbia government has allocated an additional $10 million in support… Continue reading

Burns Lake marks 100 years since Armistice

Burns Lake residents on Nov. 11 held a Remembrance Day ceremony at… Continue reading

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

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

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 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

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Trudeau says he won’t negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA

Legislators urged Trump not to sign the agreement unless the language was removed.

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

Most Read