Whole of Community System Response to Health and Homelessness

The Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria hosted a nation-wide webinar on January 19th, 2024 to discuss and learn about a whole systems response model to address homelessness in London, Ontario. This response is the first of its kind in Canada, offering comprehensive services to help the most marginalized unhoused Londoners move safely indoors, stabilize, access supports, and become sustainably housed. Learn more about this whole of community system response below.

Let’s Talk Urban Living With Uytae Lee

Let's Talk Urban Living With Uytae Lee

Join us for an exciting evening as we host our Annual General Meeting and then dive into the world of urban living and civic storytelling with Uytae Lee of popular urbanist YouTube channel About Here. He'll kick off with some Victoria area trivia before exploring topics ranging from housing to transit and beyond, promising an engaging dialogue on the facets that shape our urban experience.

Timing

5:00-5:30pm: AGM, all welcome — if you'd like to sign up as a member to the CSPC, click here.

5:30-6:00pm: Mingling, food and beverages available for purchase — we're pleased to have Maiiz Nixtamal on-site selling fresh tamales, street corn, and chips and salsa!

6:00-7:00pm: Uytae Lee

Venue: Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad St, Victoria, BC V8W 2B2

Grab your friends and come join us for a fun-filled evening of captivating stories, great food, and exciting discussions.

About Uytae Lee

Uytae Lee is a columnist and filmmaker whose work covers the complex issues surrounding our cities. He’s the creator of the CBC series ‘Stories About Here’, where he explores topics such as underground streams, zoning reform, public washrooms, street-food, and much much more. In addition to his CBC series, Uytae also produces urban planning documentaries for his own YouTube channel About Here.

Learning From London: Homelessness Hubs + Whole Of Community Response

Join the Community Social Planning Council and the United Way Southern Vancouver Island for an informative, inspiring discussion with leaders in London about their Whole of Community System Response to the homelessness crisis. A regional cross-sector response panel will follow.

With the support of the Fund For Change, a collective of community experts across sectors designed a system response that is first of its kind in Ontario. That group included more than 200 individuals representing nearly 70 local organizations in community health and social services, institutional healthcare, education, emergency services, business and economic development, land and housing development and multiple levels of government. One feature of this response includes a new network of hubs offering comprehensive services to help the most marginalized unhoused Londoners move safely indoors, stabilize, access supports and become sustainably housed.

Speakers

Lynne Livingstone — City Manager of London

Kevin Dickins  Deputy City Manager of London, Social and Health Development

Diane Silva — Director of Philanthropy, London Community Foundation

Steve Cordes — Executive Director, Youth Opportunities Unlimited (hub operator)

Thank you Coastal Community Credit Union!

Facilitating Dialogue Around Affordability

We'd like to say a special thank you to Coastal Community Credit Union (CCCU) for their support of our events dedicated to enhancing affordability across the region. We are grateful to be able to host events through our collaborative regional household affordability and prosperity (RHAP) project, in partnership with local municipalities.

This project aims to share and cultivate best practices in housing affordability and recently published a toolkit on municipal levers for housing affordability, with support from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). To delve deeper into this project, please click here.

Additionally, we actively contribute to the affordability dialogue through our work on the living wage calculation. Discover more about our efforts and impact by exploring the details here.

Coastal Community Credit Union

As a key supporter, Coastal Community Credit Union, the largest Vancouver Island-based financial services organization, stands among the top ten percent of credit unions in Canada by asset size. Noteworthy among their innovations is the introduction of Interactive Teller Machines (ITM) to Vancouver Island.

A testament to CCCU's commitment to excellence, they recently celebrated their fifth consecutive year of being certified as a Great Place to Work, a recognition bestowed by their dedicated and valued employees. Visit their website to learn more.

Building Housing Affordability: Levers for Canadian Municipalities

*This event is for municipal councillors and planners. Please register with your municipal email (ie. planner@city.ca). Personal email addresses may be removed from our registration list to ensure privacy.*

Municipalities are at the forefront of the affordability challenges facing Canadian cities. Join us for a solutions-focused conversation with guest presenters and speakers from across the country.

The Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria is pleased to convene a dialogue with municipal leaders from across Canada on their new toolkit, Local Government Levers for Housing Affordability, which received funding from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Read the Toolkit

The launch of this toolkit marks a significant step towards a more optimistic future for housing availability and affordability in Canada. By recognizing the vital role of municipalities and providing them with the necessary tools and knowledge, we can collectively address our housing crisis.

This event will feature solutions and insights from municipal councillors and planners who are at the forefront of housing affordability innovation across the country, and will be moderated by the CSPC's Executive Director Diana Gibson. There will be time for an audience Q&A, as well as additional time from 1:00-1:30pm for continued dialogue after the facilitated programming has ended.

Victoria Point-in-Time Count & Survey Results 2023

Greater Victoria participated in nationwide PiT Counts in 2016, 2018 and 2020. Point-in-Time counts add essential information to our understanding of how people experience homelessness in our region. This information will assist planners, funders, and agencies in developing appropriate responses to homelessness in our region as well as to measure progress in ending homelessness.

What is involved? The PiT count involves working in small teams to conduct a brief, anonymous survey with people who are experiencing homelessness. The indoor survey is conducted inside shelters and other homeless service facilities, while the outside survey is done outdoors, walking around a specific area or neighbourhood.

Findings from this years PiT count and survey were released on August 3, 2023.

This project is funded by the Reaching Home Program - Canada's Homelessness Strategy

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Supplies for PIT 2023 were provided by

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Learn more: https://mule.to/p3nd

New Housing Toolkit Promotes Innovative Housing Practices for Local Governments

As Canada grapples with a nationwide housing crisis, the focus on affordability has reached a critical juncture. While federal and provincial governments often take the spotlight in addressing the challenge, it is crucial to recognize the pivotal role that local governments play in the creation of more affordable housing stock. Local governments possess an array of tools that can influence housing costs, including zoning regulations, development charges, density bonuses, and property taxes. 

In an effort to empower municipalities across Canada, Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria (CSPC) is launching the “Local Government Levers for Housing Affordability” toolkit with funding from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). 

The toolkit provides a comprehensive overview of various tools and their municipal context, enabling local governments to make informed decisions. The toolkit highlights key tools and examples of policies and practices which are intended to make a difference in housing affordability, while addressing common challenges and proposing practical solutions. The toolkit also showcases illustrative scenarios that highlight successes in implementing these tools across diverse municipal contexts and addressing varying degrees of housing needs and affordability from coast to coast.  

Municipalities are at the forefront of the affordability challenges facing Canadian cities, and it is essential that they maximize all available avenues to improve housing availability and affordability. Unaffordability throughout our communities can drive individuals to seek more affordable living conditions elsewhere, resulting in labour shortages and stunted economic growth at a national level. Affordable housing is not just a social imperative but an economic necessity that supports business and individual prosperity, reinforcing local economies. We hope that by using this toolkit, local governments will be able to change their communities for the better, to become more affordable, prosperous, and inclusive.  

The launch of this toolkit marks a significant step towards a more optimistic future for housing availability and affordability in Canada. By recognizing the vital role of municipalities and providing them with the necessary tools and knowledge, we can collectively address our housing crisis.

We encourage Local Governments to look into the CMHC's Housing Accelerator Fund which aims to fund initiatives to increase housing supply.

Published June 27, 2023 

Author(s):

Khadoni Pitt Chambers, Research Coordinator

Aza Bryson-Bucci, Research Coordinator

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Aza (500 × 500 px)

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Local Government Levers for Housing Affordability

As we navigate in an era marked by a nation-wide housing crisis, all levels of government are under pressure to address the challenge, although local governments are on the front lines. Municipalities also hold a pivotal role in orchestrating the changes needed to address the affordability challenges facing Canadian cities. This toolkit outlines the many levers within municipal control that can significantly influence housing supply and affordability.

This toolkit is intended to help local governments across Canada, big and small, to understand and utilize all of the tools available to improve housing affordability by:

• providing an overview of tools and their municipal context;
• identifying success factors and key considerations for each of the tools; and
• sharing case studies and best practices that highlight successes in implementing the tools in a range of municipal contexts and for a diversity of housing types.

The optimal use of these municipal tools can change the trajectory of our current housing situation, creating a better future for housing availability and affordability.

Lessons From Helsinki: Homelessness & Housing First Approaches

This event focuses on lessons from Finland in utilizing the Housing First Model.

This model has been successfully implemented in other cities and countries globally. In Finland this model is credited with helping to virtually eliminate experiences of homelessness. While more hidden forms of homelessness remain, such as staying with friends informally, this model has been successful at providing housing with dignity to thousands of Finnish residents.

Joining us at this event is Saija Turunen, who will share their experience with this model’s application in Finland. Also, Housing First Expert, Dr. Deborah K. Padgett, will be sharing her expertise related to this model. Additionally, this event will feature a community response, where local experts, including Nicole Chaland, will speak to this model’s applicability to our region. See below for a full list of panelists at the event.

Panelists include:

  • Saija Turunen - Head of Research, Y-Foundation, Finland
  • Deborah K. Padgett - Professor; McSilver Faculty Fellow; Affiliated Faculty, Department of Anthropology and College of Global Public Health, NYU
  • Nicole Chaland - Co-Lead: The Housing Justice Project, University of Victoria

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The CSPC acknowledges the Songhees, Esquimalt, Tsartlip/W̱JOȽEȽP, Tseycum/WSIḴEM, Tsawout/SȾÁUTW, Pauquachin/BOḰEĆEN, T’Sou-ke, Scia’new and Pacheedaht Nations who have a historical and ongoing relationship to the land where our offices and work are based.

We also respect the wide diversity of nations and languages across the province. British Columbia is home to over 200 First Nations communities and approximately 50% of the First Peoples’ languages of Canada. For more information visit: https://maps.fpcc.ca/