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

Just Posted

Law Enforcement Torch Run in support of Special Olympics B.C. kicks off with a run at Swan Lake on June 6. The virtual fundraiser runs until June 20. (Saanich Police/Twitter)
Torch run seeks to scorch previous fundraiser, targets $75,000 for Special Olympics

Global movement shoots for 40,000 km in honour of the 40th anniversary

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

Tyson Muzzillo, regional manager of BC Cannabis Store, welcomes shoppers to their Uptown location, opening on June 16. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Government-run cannabis store opening at Saanich’s Uptown

BC Cannabis Store the first for government in Greater Victoria, 27th in province

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

The stretch of trail north of Royal Bay Secondary connecting to Painters Trail at Murray’s Pond will be closed temporarily this week for invasive species removal. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood trail behind Royal Bay Secondary temporarily closed for invasive species removal

Cloure in effect from 9 a.m. Wednesday to 10 a.m. Friday this week

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read