Homelessness in focus again

The rental situation in Alberni is in “critical condition,” Patty Edwards of the Alberni Valley Stakeholders Initiative to End Homelessness.

The rental housing situation in Port Alberni is in “critical condition,” Patty Edwards, chair of the Alberni Valley Stakeholders Initiative to End Homelessness. The group has released their 2016 Still At Home strategic plan.

“The findings reveal that citizens living at or below the poverty line are at risk of homelessness, as are those experiencing difficulty of affordability,” said Edwards. That’s 18 and 49 per cent of renters, respectively.

Increasing rental costs—which Edwards said have doubled in the past seven to eight years—have contributed to the above statistics.

“There are renters in town who are spending 100 per cent of their income for safe, affordable housing,” Edwards said.

Edwards asked city council to review the 66-page strategic plan, upload it to the city website and support a request to the regional district for a grant funded part-time coordinator who would help the AVCSI oversee cross-sector collaboration, she said.