Monday, June 24, 2024

Most British Columbians believe all levels of government have failed homeless people


With affordability in BC being at an all-time low, the housing crisis getting worse by the day and inflation heavily impacting British Columbians, many folks are just one bad month away from losing their home.

BC-based Research Co. conducted a survey from a sample of BC residents who, for the most part, agreed that all three levels of government have not done enough to help people who are houseless and that more should be done. 

A stark majority of 82% of British Columbians agree that if there were more temporary housing options available to those experiencing homelessness, it would allow for more people to get off the streets and work their way into a permanent housing situation. 

More than three-quarters of BC residents (77%) think that by offering developers incentives to build with affordable housing solutions in mind, the situation will be improved and two-thirds of British Columbians (67%) agree that a chunk of tax money should be devoted to building units to house the houseless. 

Most British Columbians believe that the federal government has done the worst job of tending the homeless crisis with 64% of those who were polled saying Trudeau’s government had done a “bad” or “very bad” job.

David Eby’s provincial government is taking the second most brunt of blame with 59% of British Columbians believing they could have done better. 

Not specific to Victoria, but 57% of people across BC believe that their municipal governments have failed the homeless community as well. 

When it comes to the question of whether the homeless situation is getting worse in the province, 80% of British Columbia residents believe that it is. 

Premier Eby and Mayor Marianne Alto have both claimed affordable housing is high on their priority list and there are many projects in the works throughout Vancouver ISland to provide temporary and transition housing to those experiencing homelessness. 

There is still hope amongst British Columbians though. According to Mario Canseco, President of Research Co., young people believe that the issue can have an eventual “solution” while older people have less faith. 

“Only 33% of British Columbians aged 55 and over foresee the eventual termination of homelessness in the province,” says Canseco, President of Research Co. 

“Their counterparts aged 35-to-54 (53%) and aged 18-to-34 (74%) are more hopeful.”

The big question that British Columbians were asked their opinion on, but doesn’t really have a definitive answer is: “What factors are to blame for BC’s homelessness issue?”

Most British Columbians (63%) say that drug addictions and mental health issues are to blame. Around half (47%) say that a lack of affordable housing is to blame while 34% said inequality and poverty are the root cause. 

The data for this report was collected by Research Co. between April 23rd and April 25th and 800 British Columbians of varying backgrounds and regions were polled to get the results they came to. 

Curtis Blandy

Read more

Latest Stories