In March 2020, more than 1,500 people were homeless in Victoria, according to a survey by the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness. (Black Press Media file photo)

In March 2020, more than 1,500 people were homeless in Victoria, according to a survey by the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness. (Black Press Media file photo)

Housing, homelessness and affordability top concerns in Greater Victoria: Vital Signs report

2020 report sees drop in ratings for housing, newcomer opportunities

Housing and homelessness were top concerns for Greater Victoria in 2020, according to the annual Vital Signs report.

The data, released by the Victoria Foundation, is collected through an online survey open to all interested Greater Victoria citizens. This year, 1,793 residents contributed to the report, assigning grades to 12 key issue areas and answering questions about quality of life, happiness and connection to community.

While the ‘best things about Greater Victoria’ were unchanged from 2019, housing was the top theme of participants’ concerns this year, and ratings dropped from the year prior.

Housing received a D+ rating, down from a C- minus in 2019, with 64 per cent of respondents giving a below average or poor rating for availability of affordable home ownership options and 82 per cent disagreeing that young adults have access to affordable housing.

READ ALSO: Average housing prices would have to drop by $413,000 for Victoria to become affordable

Based on data from the Victoria Real Estate Board, purchasing a single family home will cost you, on average, $837,500 – a $62,500-increase from 2019.

In Victoria, roughly 250 people live outside, and the latest Point in Time survey from the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness indicates that, in March, at least 1,523 people were experiencing various forms of homelessness, whether that was sleeping in emergency shelters, couch surfing or living in transitional housing.

And although coordinated efforts have been undertaken between the City of Victoria and the provincial government, 63 per cent of participants in the Vital Signs report disagree that efforts to reduce homelessness have been successful.

Participants also gave poor grades to the category of ‘getting started’ in Greater Victoria – a section focusing on newcomers and young people. More than half disagreed that young adults can find suitable employment or have a high standard of living, and 82 per cent disagreed that young people have access to affordable housing.

According to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 30 per cent of B.C.’s recent immigrants lost their jobs between February and May 2020 and workers under 25 years old were three times as likely to lose their job.

Childcare spaces are limited too – the 12,878 average monthly licensed childcare spaces funded by the government are only enough for 24 per cent of the South Island’s child population under 12 years old.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria has zero affordable neighbourhoods for full-time workers earning minimum wage


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Greater VictoriaHomelessnessHousingVictoria

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP is looking for a suspect and their minivan, which crashed into a parked vehicle and home along the 200-block of Island Highway in View Royal on Jan. 18. (Black Press Media file photo)
Driver crashes into parked car and home in View Royal, speeds away: RCMP

Incident took place near 200-block of Island Highway Monday night

December and January, so far, have seen their share of rain. (Black Press Media file photo)
Potential for snow in Greater Victoria after unusually wet December, January

Winter is on the way, says Environment and Climate Change Canada

Muddy Valley Farm in rural Saanich is calling for witnesses after its large metal gate was stolen overnight on Monday, Jan. 18. (Muddy Valley Farm/Facebook)
Rural Saanich farm reports large metal gate stolen

Muddy Valley Farm gate stolen overnight by ‘at least two people’

Firefighters respond to a fire on Heatherly Road in Colwood Jan. 19. (Photo courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)
Two people escape injury in Colwood house fire

Heatherly Road fire started on a covered porch

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

(Black Press Media file photo)
From arts to environment, nominate your West Shore hero

Nominations for the Goldstream Gazette’s Local Hero awards are open

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

Nanaimo RCMP are investigating after a threat was made at Woodgrove Centre on Tuesday, Jan. 19. (News Bulletin file photo)
Threat directed at Nanaimo mall, RCMP investigating

Police have searched areas of Woodgrove Centre accessible to shoppers and have deemed it safe

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) sent out a sharply worded release late last week, in which it noted that the Tourism Industry Association of BC recently obtained a ‘legal opinion’ on the matter (Alex Passini photo)
Hotel associations push back against any potential ban on inter-provincial, non-essential travel restrictions

B.C. Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on banning non-essential travel

Most Read