Monday, January 14, 2008

Homelessness Declaration


More than 10,500 British Columbians are homeless. This crisis is province-wide. In every city and town homelessness is a shame and an embarrassment.

Thousands of British Columbians are one paycheck away from homelessness; one illness away from homelessness; one family emergency away from homelessness.

Homelessness is not the fault of the homeless. There have always been people in our province who were less privileged than others. There have always been people in BC who have mental health and addictions challenges. But we have never had a crisis of homelessness like the one we face now.

Homelessness results from a lack of affordable housing. It results from wages and social assistance rates which are inadequate. Solving the problem of homelessness in our province is about political will and public policy choices.

BECAUSE children deserve an opportunity to succeed in school and life, and a child’s success is tied to having a stable home,
BECAUSE people should be able to afford housing and still have enough money for groceries and basic necessities,
BECAUSE homeless people are not the cause of homelessness,
BECAUSE everyone in BC deserves a safe, decent place to live,
BECAUSE we support diverse, tolerant and caring communities and reject communities that are divided into haves and have-nots,

• We will do everything we can to protect existing affordable housing units. While many of these require significant upgrading, it’s wrong to renovate them just to raise rents or turn them into expensive condominiums.
• We will oppose the demolition of affordable housing so that it can be replaced with homes accessible only to the wealthy.
• We will work at the local, provincial and federal levels to secure the capital funding needed to build the thousands of units of social housing, co-op housing and affordable housing our province needs.

To sign the petition please click here.

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