The Tri-Cities Homelessness & Housing Task Group has published a report on the unmet needs for housing for female single parents and their dependent children in the Tri-Cities. The report includes available demographic information, an inventory of existing housing and supports for women and children in the Tri-Cities, information about vulnerable population sub-groups, and project priorities and needed services.
The report, prepared by M. Ninow Consulting and funded by a grant from Vancity, highlights 3 key issues:
1. Lone parents – particularly female lone parents – are a particularly vulnerable demographic of our community. Not only do they often need to deal with the after-effects of trauma and violence and often have limited income, they also have a duty of care to provide a safe and secure home for their children. The community has a vested interest in the welfare of these families so that their children grow into independent, productive adults rather than perpetuating a cycle of poverty.
2. Although there is an unmet need for several forms of housing for women and their children in the Tri-Cities, the primary need is for safe, secure housing that costs no more than 30% of gross household income, with proximity to efficient transit services. As of March 31st, 2013, there were 153 “women with children” households in the Tri-Cities on BC Housing’s wait list for non-market housing. The number of female lone parent households paying more than 50 % of their income for housing (and therefore considered at risk of homelessness) is considerably greater.
3. Support for female lone parent families – such as counselling, support networks, connection to community services, job training and employment services, and child care – needs to be available as required to help stabilize their lives, enhance their independent living skills, and reconnect with their communities.
To view the report, click here: Housing Needs of Women and their Children in the Tri-Cities