In Budget 2017, the Government of Canada committed to consult with a variety of stakeholders on how the Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) can be redesigned to better reduce and prevent homelessness across Canada.
On August 30th, 2017 BCNPHA provided its submission to the HPS consultation process. The focus of the submission is to inform policies and strategic direction that will lead to a homelessness-serving and housing sector capable of ensuring that all British Columbians have access to safe, secure and affordable housing and supports. The response highlights specific investments and policy interventions that are required through HPS to more effectively address homelessness in British Columbia.
The following minimum requirements are necessary for a successful expansion of the HPS program:
1. Promote coordination within the homelessness serving sector
2. Strengthen prevention mechanisms
3. Develop a needs-based funding allocation formula
4. Integrate homelessness policy
The full submission can be found here: A submission to the Homelessness Partnering Strategy’s Advisory Committee on Homelessness
In addition, on October 21 2016, the BC Rental Housing Coalition submitted their consultation paper to Let’s Talk Housing, the federal government’s national housing strategy consultation process. The BC Rental Housing Coalition is comprised of various rental housing stakeholders, including the non-profit, cooperative, private and municipal housing sectors along with homelessness and Aboriginal housing providers, and seniors’ and tenant advocates.
The submission identifies elements of an overarching policy framework and vision statement to help support a self-sustaining, dynamic, and sophisticated housing sector capable of ensuring that all British Columbians have access to decent and affordable housing. In addition, the response highlights specific policy issues that are required to address housing needs in British Columbia.
Key recommendations in the submission include:
- Ensuring federal affordable housing dollars are allocated on a per-needs basis rather than a per-capita basis, in order to reflect proportionally greater housing need in BC;
- Linking federal transportation and affordable housing investments to ensure affordable rentals are located near frequent transit networks;
- Creating a crisis-response framework to end homelessness in BC and Canada more broadly.
In addition, the response provides more specific policy options for inclusion in the national housing strategy that is within the domain of the federal government. These options include, but are not limited to:
- Stimulating the production and protection of private and subsidized rental housing through tax credits and favorable financing and funding schemes.
- Supporting tenants through new investments for prevention models, tenant benefits, and resources to help mitigate the effects of expiring operating agreements.
- Facilitating a more holistic approach to housing policy that incorporates transportation, health, justice, aboriginal affairs, and homelessness policy.
The full submission can be found here: National Housing Strategy Consultation Submission.