UBC Faculty Research and Publications

No Vacancy High Rent. Low Vacancy. Growing Homelessness Gurstein, Penny; LaRocque, Erin; MacDonald, Robert J.

Abstract

In 2016, No Vacancy: Affordability and Homelessness in Vancouver provided a point in time snapshot of the growing affordability crisis within the City of Vancouver. By examining structural factors such as vacancy rates at low-end-of-market, cost of average rent, available income, cost of living, social housing built, and rent supplements provided, No Vacancy concluded that within the then-current environment, “homelessness [would] continue to grow without addressing these key structural issues.”1 The most recent point-in-time homeless counts, along with updated data on vacancy rates throughout Metro Vancouver suggest this to be the case. Low-income families, specifically single-parent families, are faced with a stagnant supply of affordable housing options and low vacancy rates, contributing to an increasing level of unaffordability. Due to this reality, much of this report focuses on the challenges low-income families encounter when trying to secure appropriate housing. With the crisis spreading, calling Metro Vancouver home is only getting harder.

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