A new report says the housing affordability crisis is likely driving some B.C. women into the sex industry, and is calling for the provincial government to invest in women-only housing.
The report, titled Sex Industry Revisited, argues that many women trying to get out of the industry are living in SROs, where they are often “exposed to buyers or pimps in their place of residence.”
Report consultant Trisha Baptie says the need for safer housing is hard to underestimate.
“Some of the people that are running some of these SROs actually allow women to take a date up to their room if they show ID at the door and that causes all women in that building to become unsafe.”
The report calls on the B.C. government to make good on its promise to create 3,000 more social housing units.
But it says that’s not enough on its own and that segregated housing for women is needed.
“We don’t allow men to come inside and visit. And the police interfere with these men who circle these buildings and who circle the places they know these women live in.”
The report says shelter rates for people on low incomes are at $375 per month for a single person, and that rises to $570 per month for a family of two.
A family of three is looking at $660 a month.