Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Cost Of Housing The Homeless

Taking care of the vulnerable in our society is something, we as Canadians have done a reasonably good job of. Our current poverty issues are not limited to local circumstance (although our local economy is an issue) global finance and market pressures all have their role to play.

In Nanaimo what is being called a Provincial Homelessness Initiative is under construction, and when complete will provide housing for 41 people, men or women.

You have to wonder if the cost of housing 41 souls who are either 'homeless, or in danger of becoming homeless' is really being administered in the most cost effective manner possible.

Total cost of this project (to build) is $9.6 million which I don't believe includes land cost, or development fees the city waived. The ongoing provincial commitment for this facility is said to be $1.2 million.

If my calculator is accurate this means the per unit cost of this housing is at least $234,140.00 and the ongoing cost per unit is $29,268.00 per year.

The last time I checked on average rents in Nanaimo, for decent accommodation a 2 bedroom apartment was renting for about $800.00/mo all in. If this is an accurate comparison, it means that people who are either homeless or in danger of becoming homeless could be housed for about $9600/yr.



  1. oday's Vancouver Sun:

    Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson acknowledged Tuesday that getting the homeless off the streets was a "greater challenge than we thought" but he won't give up on reducing homelessness across the city.

    The mayor, who had promised in 2008 to eliminate homelessness by this spring, conceded that despite making strides over the years, more people have been sleeping on the streets in the past two years.

    The annual homeless count in March 2014 found the number of people sleeping on the street had increased to 536, up from 154 in 2011. And the homeless ranks may have increased because of rents in private SRO hotels constantly rising beyond what those on welfare can afford.


  2. Some resources regarding homelessness. The equation of the cost of homelessness is not a simple comparison of housing in motel versus supported housing versus street homelessness. The homeless are generally multiple barriered, suffering addiction and mental illness rates far in excess of the general population. Police forces estimate that up to 80% of their calls are related to mental illness. the costs of homelessness to the judicial system and the health care system are astronomical. The human rights degradation of these people in being denied adequate care is incalculable.





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