Mak­ing sure peo­ple have a home, and the chance to build a bet­ter life

Asian Journal - - OPINION EDITORIAL - By John Hor­gan

Peo­ple need a home to live in, and the op­por­tu­nity to build a bet­ter life for them­selves and their fam­i­lies.

Af­ter years of in­ac­tion, the hous­ing cri­sis in B.C. has left too many peo­ple un­able to find an affordable home to rent or buy. And some can’t find a home at all.

The cri­sis is af­fect­ing peo­ple who should be able to find affordable hous­ing in a province as pros­per­ous as ours, in­clud­ing peo­ple who are earn­ing a good liv­ing, new par­ents, stu­dents, and se­niors on pen­sions.

Our govern­ment is tak­ing strong steps to tackle the hous­ing cri­sis from ev­ery an­gle: by in­creas­ing sup­ply, curb­ing de­mand, bring­ing in pro­tec­tions for renters, and tack­ling fraud in B.C.’S real es­tate mar­ket.

For peo­ple who are go­ing through dif­fi­cult times in their lives — like strug­gling to find em­ploy­ment or deal­ing with an ill­ness — the hous­ing cri­sis is even more chal­leng­ing, and too of­ten the re­sult is home­less­ness. That’s why we’re also tak­ing ac­tion to build sup­port­ive and affordable hous­ing for peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing home­less­ness. That in­cludes build­ing mod­u­lar homes, so peo­ple can get off the streets and into hous­ing sooner. In to­tal, we are open­ing more than 4,500 sup­port­ive homes with 24/7 sup­port through­out the province.

And we’re work­ing to help lift peo­ple out of poverty. When we make sure peo­ple have ac­cess to hous­ing, sup­ports and ser­vices they need to break the cy­cle of poverty, ev­ery­one ben­e­fits. Hous­ing, ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion, and health and ad­dic­tions ser­vices are all part of the so­lu­tion.

We’re see­ing the re­sults of this ap­proach al­ready. Peo­ple who have left tent cities and moved to sup­port­ive mod­u­lar homes are fi­nally get­ting the op­por­tu­nity to im­prove their lives. Peo­ple up­grad­ing their skills to get back to work, and ac­cess­ing des­per­ately needed ser­vices, like health care for ill­nesses that have gone un­treated for far too long. In­stead of spend­ing all day try­ing to sur­vive through ter­ri­ble con­di­tions, peo­ple can fo­cus on re­build­ing their lives. Their suc­cess helps build health­ier com­mu­ni­ties, and a more equal province for us all.

As we mark Home­less­ness Ac­tion Week, we thank the out­reach work­ers, non-profits and front-line ser­vice providers work­ing so hard ev­ery day to help peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing home­less­ness.

We’re work­ing to­gether to make sure peo­ple have ac­cess to the hous­ing and sup­ports they need to break the cy­cle of poverty.

Ev­ery­one goes through dif­fi­cult times, and some­times we fall. Peo­ple de­serve the chance to get back up again. We’re go­ing to keep work­ing hard to make sure peo­ple have a home, and the chance to build a bet­ter life, to make life bet­ter for ev­ery­one in B.C.

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