The intersection of climate transitions and equity

On September 20th, 2022, Climate Equity team members Lorenzo Magzul and Chelsea Power had the opportunity to speak to the BC Poverty Reduction Community of Practice. The CoP meets monthly to learn from each other, to enable professional self-development, and to build capacities of their local poverty reduction initiatives.

You can view the presentation as recorded by Zoom at the link below.

You will need the passcode: rWdtH4b. (include the period).

Policy + Protection: How municipalities can increase density while protecting tenants

In a push to increase housing supply, tenant displacement, increased rental costs, and decreased access are often unintended consequences. However, local governments can implement policies that help to minimize these negative effects.

Join us from 12-1:30pm PST on September 28th for a solutions-based conversation.

This is a chance for you to have your ideas heard and share in dialogue on an important issue facing our community. The objective of this conversation is to identify ways in which we can

  • Provide strong tenant protections/displacement supports while
  • Increasing housing supply and thereby addressing the systemic shortage of housing.

Speakers at this event will include

  • Julian West, Missing Middle Housing & Sustainable Transportation
  • Doug King, Together Against Poverty Society
  • Aleida Blandford, Tenant Protections & Community Engagement
  • Jordan Milne, Urban Land Economics, Rental Housing, & Mixed-Use Development
  • Person with lived experience of renting in Greater Victoria

This event is part of the CSPC’s continuing dialogue on Housing Affordability and is co-hosted by Livable Victoria.

Register here: bit.ly/DisplacementProtectionEvent

Filling the Gap: analytics to support housing for all in Greater Victoria

Piloting the HART Method in Greater Victoria

What is affordable? Affordable for whom? When is affordability not enough? These questions are at the core of housing needs assessments that allow governments to meet the housing needs of everyone in the region.

The HART Method, developed by UBC's Housing Research Collaborative, offers an approach to determining local housing needs that includes housing size, the need for accessible homes, and the maximum costs for rent at specific income levels.

The Community Social Planning Council has piloted the HART Method of developing housing needs assessments for five areas in Greater Victoria.* Filling the Gap explores the HART Method and highlights the variations in local need by looking specifically at the municipalities of Sooke, Esquimalt, Saanich, and the City of Victoria in comparison to Greater Victoria.

Speakers at the event on September 20, 2022 included

  • Carolyn Whitzman PhD, Invited Professor at the University of Ottawa and expert advisor to the UBC Housing Research Collaborative
  • Nicole Chaland, housing researcher and paper co-author
  • Luna, Homes for Living community advocate

Filling the Gap invitates discussion on the methodology and its local findings. It is part of the Community Council's ongoing series on housing affordability.

* The initial report uses 2016 census data as 2021 data had not yet been released during the report's writing. CSPC will update the analysis with current data in the coming weeks.

Preparing for Extreme Heat Events

While this summer has, so far, been on the cool side for Greater Victoria, the risk still exists for extreme heat events in July, August, and even September. Following last year’s devastating heat dome that killed 619 people in British Columbia – the majority of victims being renters, on low-income, and seniors – we hope this guide will help more British Columbians stay safe and well.

GUIDE: Preparing for Extreme Heat Events

Income disparity in Greater Victoria

On July 13, 2022 Statistics Canada released data from the 2021 Census that included a portrait of Canada’s families and households, and an income profile of Canadian households. This data update contained both good news and bad news for residents of Greater Victoria.

The good news? Incomes are rising for everyone from the lowest income levels (i.e. households with an income that is 50% or less of the regional median) to the highest (i.e. households with an income that is 120% or more of the regional median). As well, the median income in Greater Victoria is higher than the provincial median and very close to the national median.

The bad news? Incomes are rising more quickly for the people who are already making the most money. This means that people are making more money but have less left over for food, transportation, clothing, and other needs after meeting their housing costs.

Click this image to read the full 2 page infographic

Sources: 

Statistics Canada, July 13 Census data release: https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2021/dp-pd/index-eng.cfm

Drivers of Homelessness event & report launch

On June 22, 2022 local, provincial, and national experts on housing and homelessness discussed the CSPC's new report, Drivers of Homelessness: Findings for Action.

Speakers at the event included

  • Esther de Vos, Executive Director of Research for BC Housing;
  • Erin Dej, Assistant Professor at Wilfred Laurier University and researcher with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness;
  • Hannah Mang-Wooley, Tenant Legal Advocate at Together Against Poverty Society.

Drivers of Homelessness answers key questions and dissolves persistent myths regarding the ongoing housing and homelessness crisis in Greater Victoria:

  • What are the most important structural and systemic factors that contribute to homelessness?
  • How can we prevent homelessness by addressing these structural and systemic factors?
  • How does early intervention fit into a broader homelessness prevention framework?

This event will include the launch of a SPARC BC funded report that examines the drivers of homelessness in Greater Victoria through the analysis of CSPC’s homelessness prevention program The report will inform evidence-based conversations in the public and the media and support local policymakers in preventing and ending homelessness in our region.

View the full report: Drivers of Homelessness Report

BC Carbon Pricing Review Equity Survey

In May and June of this year, the Community Social Planning Committee of Greater Victoria supported B.C.’s Carbon Pricing Review by

  • hosting multiple engagement sessions for vulnerable populations and the agencies that work with them,
  • creating and distributing an online survey, and
  • collating what was recorded in the sessions and through the survey in a report to the province.

Our work continues as we develop an understanding of what services and programs are currently available to support British Columbians manage the impacts of carbon pricing.

Our report to the government will help inform their decisions on updated carbon pricing.
Our report to the government will help inform their decisions on updated carbon pricing.

The Survey

This survey aims to collect information on:

  1. The different impacts of the carbon tax for diverse community members, especially those with low incomes.
  2. How carbon tax programs could be designed to help address fairness and affordability.
  3. Challenges accessing carbon tax programs such as the Climate Action Tax Credit.

Feedback from engagement sessions held in May and this survey will inform the provincial government’s review of B.C.’s carbon tax and associated programs, which aims to understand its impacts on affordability for households and businesses.

The Sessions

Between May 16 and May 26, 2020 the Community Social Planning Councl hosted six community engagement sessions for British Columbians to learn and share as part of the government of British Columbia's review of Carbon Pricinb.

For context on the Carbon Pricing engagement sessions held in May, watch this video recording of one session:

New personal ID service helps people move out of homelessness

The Community Social Planning Council announces a new service for people in need and those supporting them. The Greater Victoria Coordinated ID Services offer assistance applying for ID, coverage of application fees, and safe ID storage. More details are available at communitycouncil.ca/Id-service and in the full release below.

Launch Press Release