NCOH releases 12th Annual Report Card on Homelessness

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The Nelson Committee on Homelessness is releasing their 12th Annual Report Card on Homelessness in the city – you can find it now on their website.

One highlight from the report is the “Pathways to Ending Homelessness” section.

One option is supportive housing, which is a type of social (subsidized) housing with on-site support and services, including physical and mental health care and substance use services, to help people experiencing or at risk of homelessness attain and maintain housing stability.

Community Coordinator Rebecca Martin says Nelson has some subsidized and low-end of market housing, including three new developments currently in the works, but these are for people who can live independently and there is still a great need for more affordable housing and more variety in general.

Nelson doesn't currently have supportive housing but has been approved for funding by BC Housing; NCOH’s report card says it’s really just about finding the land.

A letter from the NCOH Co-Chairs summarizes the report card and says Nelson is entering it’s 7th year with a 0% vacancy rate.

The letter also builds on the need for land on which supportive housing can be built and offers a list of effective strategies community members can help such as pressuring city council and your local MLA.

The report states 47% of Nelson Renter Households are paying more than 30% of income on shelter.

NCOH’s Survey estimates one-bedroom rentals are up by 10.1% on average, costing $1068 rent last year and $1176 dollars per monthly rent for 2020.

Studio rentals jumped an average 11.3% from $880 last year to $979 in rent for 2020.

Martin says NCOH is tied to a plethora of agencies and programs but prioritize coordinated access which takes a more systematic approach.

She explains that rather than offering services program by program, or agency by agency, coordinated access is about integrating services that various local agencies provide, to allow clients to use “door agencies” as key points of access to everything they need.

NCOH helps fund the Nelson Community Services' Street Outreach Program that has served 270 clients in it's third year and 589 clients over the past three years combined.

Some of the most frequent services provided in year three of Street Outreach were relationship-building, transportation and housing support with 31% of clients aged between 20 and 30 and 28% of clients aged 30 to 40 years old.

The full 12th Annual Report Card on Homelessness is 14 pages long and can be found here.