Funding solutions to homelessness is the responsibility of the Provincial and Federal governments. However, housing is a human right and the City works with regional partners and all levels of government to address solutions to homelessness and housing availability.
In 2023, a Point-in-Time count was conducted in the Capital Region. It was estimated that there were at least 1,665 people experiencing homelessness in the Capital Region at the time. Of these, 524 were completely unsheltered or staying at emergency shelters, while the remaining 1,141 were staying with a friend, in an unknown location, or other provisional housing.
The City of Victoria will continue to work with BC Housing, Island Health, and the community agencies that serve people who are experiencing homelessness to ensure that access to housing, healthcare, and cultural/peer supports are available to help people sheltering outdoors to move inside.
The City of Victoria partners with federal, provincial and regional governments through the Regional Housing First Program. This partnership has earmarked $90 million in funding to provide 2,000 new rental units in the region. Additionally, mental health and addiction services will be provided by Island Health as required.
The City of Victoria is also implementing policies and actions because of the Victoria Housing Strategy. This strategy will 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 (garden suites and secondary suites)
- prioritizing purpose-built rental units through City processes
- protecting tenants through implementation of the Tenant Assistance Policy
- the Inclusionary Housing and Community Amenity Policy to encourage affordable housing developments
In addition, the City of Victoria is a member of the Alliance to End Homelessness in the Capital Region. The Alliance works to address the region's commitment to end homelessness. It includes the following partners::
- local service providers
- non-profit organizations
- all levels of government
The City also provides support to organizations that work with individuals experiencing homelessness.