Housing unaffordability across Metro Vancouver is driving the region’s homelessness problem, according to a new report.
The report entitled “No Vacancy: Affordability and Homelessness in Vancouver” and co-authored by the Union Gospel Mission and the University of Victoria shows the high cost of housing is driving people onto the streets, creating backlogs in shelters and preventing others from getting into services like addiction recovery.
The report says vacancy rates for most affordable rental units are below one-per cent across Metro Vancouver.
But with housing at a premium, it warns shelters across the region are also bursting at the seams, filled to 97% capacity.
At the Union Gospel Mission, “turnaways” are up 25% this year over last.
The number of women using shelters is also up.
The report also finds a declining number of affordable bachelor suites in the region (defined as cheaper than $750/ mo.), along with a waitlist 10,000 strong of people on the province’s housing registry waiting for affordable housing.
It adds that the number of seniors on that list has grown 38% since 2012.