City of Nanaimo pays rent to help house homeless

NANAIMO – The city will contribute $45,000 toward a rent supplement program.

People struggling with chronic homelessness will be given a chance to rent under a formal Housing First strategy.

The City of Nanaimo has foot the bills for the past three years to test a rent supplement program, administered by the Nanaimo Region John Howard Society. Now it’s contributing $45,000 to a more formal Housing First strategy.

It’s part of a city strategy to house the homeless and has seen success, according to John Horn, the city’s social planner, who said most tenants have been able to stay in apartments, and in some cases have withdrawn from the program to manage the unit on their own

The idea, just like the city’s supportive housing complexes, is to provide stable housing for those who have previously struggled with homelessness so they can address other issues like mental health and addiction.

They are provided with outreach support and live in market housing, like townhouses and apartments.

Tenants chip in $375 from their income assistance cheques and the city tops up the rent, tallying about $200 monthly for each unit. Six apartments have been supported to date.

Nanaimo city council has agreed to support another six units over two years to the tune of $45,000. It will also seek dollars from B.C. Housing.

John McCormick, executive director of the John Howard Society, said the pilot was a modified Housing First program and has helped people to stay healthy. With a formal Housing First strategy, they will be applying that experience to people who might be considered more difficult to house.

“[Funding] allows us as the agency that’s moving this program forward to house a targeted 10 people by March 31, 2016,” he said.

The agency has already begun to collect referrals.

Just Posted

Naval ship spills 30,000 litres of fuel in the strait east of Nanoose Bay

Department of National Defence co-ordinating spill response, investigating cause

Speed humps will permanently slow down drivers on Ross Road

Nanaimo city council voted 7-1 in favour of two permanent speed humps

Chemainus accident shuts down Trans-Canada Highway for air ambulance landing

A local man suffered serious injuries and was airlifted to hospital after… Continue reading

RDN looking to upgrade audiovisual equipment in its boardroom

Project could lead to live-streamed Regional District of Nanaimo board meetings

Adopted pet pig gets killed and eaten

Animal was adopted out by SPCA staff in the Cowichan Valley

MULTIMEDIA: Maple Sugar festival as sweet as maple syrup

L’Association des francophones de Nanaimo held its 17th Maple Sugar Festival this weekend.

Buccaneers beat Generals in Game 3 to take stranglehold on series

Nanaimo wins by a 4-3 score Saturday in Parksville

Lantzville’s 1935 Seagrave fire truck returning to its California home

A piece of firefighting history from Lantzville will make its way back to Alameda, Calif.

Truck fire, collision snarls traffic on Hwy 19 in Parksville

One person take to hospital for observation in Sunday incident

Man charged with sex assault aboard Victoria buses

The Victoria Police co-operated with BC Transit staff, Saanich Police, and West Shore RCMP

B.C. VIEWS: Our not-so-New Democrats don’t rock the boat

Finance Minister Carole James takes the wheel, steers similar course

Minor injuries after car veers into Courtenay dance studio

A driver and passenger were taken to hospital after their vehicle crashed… Continue reading

VIDEO: Wounded Warriors team member says PTSD sufferers can heal

Post-traumatic stress disorder fundraising run enters final leg from Nanaimo

Students bind history of seniors in new book

Living History book donated by John Barsby students to Berwick on the Lake residents

Most Read