The provincial government should consider financial support for rental assistance for single people with diverse abilities.
The City of Delta has submitted that proposal as one of its resolutions to Union of BC Municipalities, which will hold its annual convention in Whistler from Sept. 12 to 16.
The motion notes that while BC Housing's Rental Assistance Program provides critical financial support for low-income families to help with monthly rent payments, rental assistance is currently only available to families or people with dependent children, while single people do not qualify for assistance.
However, there is a growing and urgent need for supportive housing for all ages and abilities, including those with developmental disabilities, according to a Delta report, which notes that in B.C. there are more than 5,000 people in need of this type of housing, at least 425 of whom live in Delta.
Individuals with differing abilities need the full range of housing options as other segments of the population do. Inclusive housing is the key to independence, stability and belonging.
The lack of assistance is a significant disadvantage for many who wish to move out of their family home and gain independence in their own apartment.
“As the Province deals with the ongoing housing crisis, it must ensure that the full spectrum of housing needs is considered and planned for into the future, and that funding and housing subsidies are flexible to ensure maximum impact. The provincial government is requested to review the eligibility criteria for rental assistance, and implement changes that would qualify single people with diverse abilities for financial support,” the report notes.
A comprehensive community and housing profile report for Delta in 2020 noted participants during community consultations spoke about a significant need for inclusive housing for people with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities as well as seniors needing supports.
Parents of children with developmental disabilities expressed concern over the housing options for their children as those parents age or pass away, the report noted, adding there’s few affordable housing options.
Delta council last year approved a new housing action plan for the city which identifies several strategies to address housing needs and support the development of more priority unit types, including providing incentives.