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Sustainable and inclusive communities creating their own social, economic and environmental futures.

Community Social Planning Council

Research | Insights | Solutions

Priority Areas of Work

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imagePoverty Prevention and Reduction

Many residents of the region face an affordability crunch. Their real wages have declined, and the costs of the essentials of living (transportation, food, housing, child care, education) are increasing. We convene a Community Action Plan on Poverty to involve stakeholders from all sectors (community services, faith based, business, government, activist) to collaborate on strategic action to prevent and reduce poverty, and create sustainable livelihoods for all our residents. We produce an annual “Living Wage” calculation to track affordability challenges, and promote the certification of “Living Wage Employers.” We also manage the BC Transit Ticket Assistance Program to help with the cost of transportation. The Council will continue to support strategies to create solutions to poverty in the region and are members of the BC Coalition to End Poverty and the Canadian Cities Reducing Poverty Network.

 

Current initiatives include:

 

imageCommunity Economic Development

The economy and labour market in the region has many advantages, but also is experiencing higher unemployment (particularly amongst youth), increased employment insecurity, low productivity, and tough conditions for small businesses. Social and green enterprises that combine job and wealth creation with community social and environmental benefits are a growing sector, but lack access to capital and technical assistance. We are creating a network of organizations to strengthen community economic development, financial literacy, social entrepreneurship and economic empowerment. We are working in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce on the West Shore to respond to the community economic development needs of the fastest growing part of our region. We are developing a Community Investment Fund for Vancouver Island to generate RRSP eligible contributions from residents to invest in viable local businesses and housing development. 

 

Current initiatives include:

 

imageHousing Affordability

Housing costs are the largest driver of affordability challenges in the region, for both homeowners and renters. The Council is an active member of the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness and provides housing research services to the Capital Regional District. We work to advance a Housing Affordability Strategy for the region which promotes best practices in local government policy; tracks trends across the continuum of housing needs and develops solutions, and; improves access to financing, research and technical assistance for affordable housing development.

 

Current initiatives include:

Recent housing reports:

 

imageSustainability

The Council works to enhance the social, economic and environmental sustainability of the Region. We help deliver the Resilient Neighbourhoods Program to support action by residents on the social, economic and environmental sustainability of their local communities.  We also work on social sustainability with community service organizations, and advance proactive regional planning to meet the needs of families and children, particularly those that are most vulnerable.  We work with regional and municipal governments to improve sustainability planning that integrates social, economic and environmental considerations.

 

Current initiatives include:

 

Across these four priority areas of our work we apply a social inclusion lens to enhance civic participation, equality of opportunity, and the social capital of our region.