Social-housing workers shut out
Non-profits may have to start offering subsidized housing to staff to attract workers
One of British Columbia’s largest non-profit employers says the housing crisis in Vancouver has gotten so bad it has created a staffing shortage for the very organizations that provide social housing.
As housing costs in the city remain unaffordable for many people, non-profits may even have to start offering subsidized housing for their staff in order to attract workers, said Jennifer Breakspear, executive director of Portland Hotel Society.
Her organization employs nearly 750 people to operate dozens of supportive-housing projects. The non-profit, like many in the supportive-housing industry, is having trouble filling shifts on a daily basis, Jennifer Breakspear, executive director of Portland Hotel Society, suggests non-profits may have to start offering subsidized housing for staff in order to attract workers.
she said. The society pays its staff at least the living wage, in Vancouver, that’s $20.91 per hour, but Breakspear said many employees still either commute to work from as far away as Mission or live in their vehicles.
Breakspear said Portland Hotel Society has been in constant “hiring mode” since she started at the organization two years ago. The “staffing crisis” has reached new heights in the last few months, she said. Many Portland
Hotel Society buildings only have one person staffing on the weekends, even though two people is the standard.
Charities face trouble hiring workers at thestar.com/vancouver
— Kelowna and Edmonton — are positioned to be commercial real-estate “hot spots” for Canada’s post-legalization cannabis market, according to a new report.
Both cities are expected to see significant commercial growth, the annual investor report from real-estate firm Re/max Commercial found. That’s because legalization is providing a “new segment” of demand, especially for retail space, said Elton Ash, regional executive vice-president at Re/max Western Canada.
“There is obviously uncertainty as to how commercial retail prices will be affected in the future,” Ash said in a phone interview. “But the bottom line of the report is there will be greater pressure on retail outlets on all markets across Western Canada based on cannabis demand.”
The cannabis industry is “slowly” absorbing existing industrial spaces and development lands, which contributed to the rise in lease rates, he added.
Western Canada will be a cannabis commercial real-estate ‘hot spot,’ says report
Kelowna has more than 900 retail spaces that could host cannabis companies. More at thestar.com/vancouver