Affordable rental housing crisis one focus of Nelson's Report Card on Homelessness

Homelessness in Nelson is the focus of an annual report card.

Nelson Committee on Homelessness Community Coordinator Ann Harvey says their 9th annual report focused a lot on mental health and substance use, their relationship to homelessness, and the barriers and stigma that people face in their daily lives.

Another big focus is the affordable rental housing crisis which is making it difficult for residents, especially those without community contacts, to find a place to live.

She says the prices have shot up for advertised rental rates in Nelson, up to 47 percent for 3 bedroom rentals.

Harvey calls it the ripple effect from the hot market in Vancouver.

There's also concerns with a decade of little or no increases for income assistance and disability rates.

The good news...Harvey cites the opening of recovery beds in the community for those with substance abuse issues, and the work of the Street Culture Collaborative with the Street Outreach Team.

The report is online www.nelsoncares.ca