Budget 2022 provides new funding to address homelessness in B.C.

March 17, 2022

Victoria — British Columbians experiencing or at-risk of homelessness will benefit from expanded services, supports, and more timely access to care, thanks to new investments in Budget 2022.


New supports, services for people experiencing homelessness

Budget 2022 investments to address homelessness include the following actions:

Complex care:

  • $164 million over three years to expand government’s complex-care housing model from four pilot sites to at least 20 sites, with plans to support up to 500 people.
  • These spaces will help people with severe mental health, substance-use issues or traumatic and acquired brain injuries who are currently homeless or unstably housed.

Supported Rent Supplement Program:

  • Introducing $600-per-month rent supplements with integrated supports, such as health care, food services, laundry, life skills and employment training, to help people with low incomes access private market housing.
  • The program aims to support 3,000 people by 2024-25.

Community integration specialists:

  • Reallocating $62.8 million to more than double the current number of community integration specialists in B.C., from 73 to 190 to help people experiencing homelessness navigate services where they live and co-ordinate other supports.
  • They will be hired throughout the province, including in communities hosting the new complex-care housing sites.

Supports for youth in care:

  • $35 million over three years for improved supports for youth and young adults in and from care, until age 27, who are at risk of homelessness. These include:
    • maintaining the current COVID-19 temporary emergency housing measures up to a young adult’s 21st birthday, allowing them to stay where they are living or transition to independence when they are ready;
    • providing new $600-per-month rent supplements;
    • expanding the Agreements with Young Adults program to include counselling, medical benefits and more life-skills programming;
    • improving income supports, including a no-limit earnings exemption; and
    • hiring new youth transition support workers who will assist youth in care from age 14 until their 27th birthday.

Permanent Housing Plan:

  • $264 million over three years to ensure housing support continues for the approximately 3,000 people who were temporarily housed in leased or purchased hotels and other spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic, including:
    • $63 million in capital funding and $51 million in operating funding over three years to acquire and implement permanent housing solutions.
    • $150 million to continue to extend the temporary spaces for some individuals while permanent housing options become available.

New minimum shelter rate:

  • A new minimum shelter allowance for people receiving income assistance or disability assistance will help people experiencing homelessness with incidental expenses.
  • The minimum rate for a single person is $75 per month. It increases based on the number of people in the family. For those who are not receiving a shelter allowance, a minimum shelter allowance will be automatically added to assistance payments starting in April 2022.

Tenant startup kits:

  • To help people moving from homelessness into more stable housing, government will fund a provincial non-profit organization that will partner with local service providers to provide tenant startup kits.
  • The kits will include items, such as dishes, bedding and cleaning supplies.