The Capital Regional District (CRD) is working with its municipal and non-profit partners and key Indigenous stakeholders to support the most vulnerable people in the capital region. Currently, the CRD and its partners are assessing the needs of people who are without shelter or housing throughout the region and are developing strategies to provide health and support services, as well as resources to meet the basic needs of people experiencing homelessness.
The CRD is receiving an additional $1.3 million from the Government of Canada through the Reaching Home program to support people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 public health emergency. This funding is to help improve the capacity of service providers and can be used to secure additional accommodation to reduce overcrowding, purchase supplies and materials to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, and increasing the frequency of cleaning with disinfectants in high traffic areas for example.
The CRD currently administers two programs under Reaching Home: the Designated Communities program is receiving an additional $917,880 and the Indigenous Homeless program is receiving an additional $394,972.
The allocation for the 2020-21 Reaching Home programs is being provided to Pacifica Housing, Peers Victoria Resources, Threshold Housing, Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness, Community Social Planning Council, Victoria Cool Aid Society, Victoria Native Friendship Centre, Our Place Society and Beacon Community Association. The additional funding will support current housing and service supports during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The CRD is working with the Sooke Region Communities Health Network to provide funding support to strengthen organizational capacity and to support the organization to apply for funding in 2021-22.
Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy is a community-based program aimed at reducing and preventing homelessness. Officially launched April 1, 2019, the Government of Canada's homelessness program supports the most vulnerable people in the Capital Region by improving access to safe, stable and affordable housing. The CRD administers the Reaching Home program in the Greater Victoria community. Salt Spring Island and the Southern Gulf Islands are eligible to receive funding from the Reaching Home Rural and Remote funding stream.
The CRD works with all levels of government and community partners to address housing needs of our most vulnerable citizens. The CRD:
- is the sole shareholder of the Capital Region Housing Corporation, which owns and operates more than 1400 housing units in 46 complexes for more than 4000 individuals;
- is implementing the Regional Housing First Program, a $90 million initiative to create new rental units that address the needs of people across the housing spectrum;
- participates in and provides $225,000 in funding annually to the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, $150,000 in funding annually to the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness, and supports community efforts to end homelessness in the region;
- has provided more than $11.7 million of funding to help build 959 units of affordable housing through the Regional Housing Trust Fund; and
- shares expertise and engages in research and analysis to support effective planning and collaboration with local governments, community and housing providers, private industry and funders.