Homelessness Initiatives

Housing is a human right.

The 2020 Point in Time count estimates that there are approximately 1,500 people experiencing homelessness in the Capital Region.

While funding solutions to homelessness such as outreach, shelters and supportive housing is primarily a role of the provincial government, the City works with regional partners and all levels of government to address solutions to homelessness and housing availability.

As a result of COVID-19, individuals struggling with homelessness have been facing increasing barriers in accessing emergency shelters and social services. Supportive housing operations have had to reduce capacity to meet social distancing requirements, further compounding many issues related to housing instability. COVID-19 has highlighted the difficulties communities face without a coordinated access system for homeless groups. 

The City of Victoria continues to partner with the federal, provincial and regional governments through the Regional Housing First Program. This partnership has earmarked $90 million in funding, which will provide more than 2,000 new rental units in the region with mental health and addiction services provided by Island Health as required.

The City of Victoria is also currently implementing the Victoria Housing Strategy to increase the supply of housing and encourage a diversity of housing types. This includes bylaw changes to allow for the creation of new rental housing such as Garden Suites and Secondary Suites, prioritizing purpose-built rental units through City processes, protecting tenants through implementing the Tenant Assistance Policy, and the Inclusionary Housing and Community Amenity Policy to encourage more affordable housing in new developments.

The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness is a partnership of local service providers, non-profit organizations, businesses and all levels of government working to address the region's commitment to end homelessness.

The City of Victoria also provides support to a number of organizations that work with individuals experiencing homelessness.

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