Statement from Mayor Helps on New Funding to Address Homelessness in Provincial Budget 2022

City of Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps has released the following statement in response to today’s announcement by the Province that Budget 2022 will invest $633 million in new initiatives aimed at helping prevent and reduce chronic homelessness in Victoria and across the province.

“We are grateful to see the Province make these important new investments to help prevent vulnerable people falling into homelessness in the first place, and to support those with complex care needs who have experienced homelessness for too long without the supports they need. 

“Increasing support for youth in government care, expanding rent supplements and building more permanent affordable housing will help to address the root causes of homelessness.

“The $164 million earmarked for complex care housing and supports, with the promise of 20 new sites across British Columbia, is something the City and others have been calling for. Complex care housing can’t come soon enough; the need is great in Victoria and the region.

“Both the City and the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness have been calling for more rent supplements at an increased amount. The 3,000 new rent supplements at $600 each announced in Budget 2022 can be deployed quickly to get people into existing housing and we look forward to using as many as possible, as quickly as possible, in the city and the region.

“I’m really encouraged to see the government take a cross-ministry approach to preventing and addressing homelessness. With all the ministers and their staff working together and focused on this issue in a coordinated systemic way, we’re one step closer to making sure that everyone in our city, region and province has a safe place they can call home. We look forward to continuing to work closely with the Province.”