John Horgan: Making sure people have a home, and the chance to build a better life

People need a home to live in, and the opportunity to build a better life for themselves and their families.

After years of inaction, the housing crisis in B.C. has left too many people unable to find an affordable home to rent or buy. And some can’t find a home at all.

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The crisis is affecting people who should be able to find affordable housing in a province as prosperous as ours, including people who are earning a good living, new parents, students, and seniors on pensions.

Our government is taking strong steps to tackle the housing crisis from every angle: by increasing supply, curbing demand, bringing in protections for renters, and tackling fraud in B.C.’s real estate market.

For people who are going through difficult times in their lives — like struggling to find employment or dealing with an illness — the housing crisis is even more challenging, and too often the result is homelessness.

That’s why we’re also taking action to build supportive and affordable housing for people experiencing homelessness. That includes building modular homes, so people can get off the streets and into housing sooner. In total, we are opening more than 4,500 supportive homes with 24/7 support throughout the province.

And we’re working to help lift people out of poverty. When we make sure people have access to housing, supports and services they need to break the cycle of poverty, everyone benefits. Housing, access to education, and health and addictions services are all part of the solution.

We’re seeing the results of this approach already. People who have left tent cities and moved to supportive modular homes are finally getting the opportunity to improve their lives. People upgrading their skills to get back to work, and accessing desperately needed services, like health care for illnesses that have gone untreated for far too long.

Instead of spending all day trying to survive through terrible conditions, people can focus on rebuilding their lives. Their success helps build healthier communities, and a more equal province for us all.

As we mark Homelessness Action Week, we thank the outreach workers, non-profits and front-line service providers working so hard every day to help people experiencing homelessness.

We’re working together to make sure people have access to the housing and supports they need to break the cycle of poverty.

Everyone goes through difficult times, and sometimes we fall. People deserve the chance to get back up again.

We’re going to keep working hard to make sure people have a home, and the chance to build a better life, to make life better for everyone in B.C.

John Horgan is Premier of British Columbia.

[Note to readers: The province has started to send out weekly op-eds from Premier John Horgan. In keeping with past AHN tradition in sharing articles from B.C.'s political representatives and our local leaders, and in response to reader feedback, we are adding them to our editorial package.] 

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