The BC Non-Profit Housing Association and Homelessness Services Association of BC gathered among more than 150 housing officials in Kelowna on Monday at the Coast Capri Hotel for the Regional Education Networking and Trade show, also known as RENT.
“It’s an opportunity for non-profit housing providers to get together with local elected officials and others interested in affordable housing, to share and to learn,” BC Non-Profit Housing Association CEO Jill Atkey said.
The one-day event generated discussions on how to deliver safe housing and community acceptance for new units.
“We’ve all been hearing in media around the province about community opposition to supportive housing projects but also rental housing projects in general,” Atkey said. “This is an issue thats happening right around the province as people grapple with change in their communities.”
The BCNPHA addresses this controversy using a “harm reduction approach,” with the help of evidence.
“We know that when supportive housing goes in, police calls to that area go down and the community is often cleaner because there’s cleanup crews out on the streets,” Atkey said.
“Sometimes people are using drugs on site, but it also means that they’re not out in the community using drugs in back alleys or doorways of businesses, so it’s actually much safer for communities.”
This is one of many discussions held over the course of the day in addition to sessions about issues non-profit housing providers face, cyber security and privacy protection, meeting needs of clients, learning new leadership skills, preventing eviction and much more.
The next BC Affordable Housing Conference will take place Nov. 14-19 in Vancouver.
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