Below is a link to the online survey for the Foothills Region Housing and Homelessness Needs Assessment:
Take the Online Survey
Your participation in this survey is essential! The more information we can obtain from area residents, the better idea we will have about the nature and extent of homelessness in the region, including people who may be at risk of becoming homeless. The better we understand the true nature and extent of the issues, the better able we will be to determine what resources may need to be allocated to different communities and to different areas of the region in order to better help those who have become homeless and to better help prevent those who are at risk from becoming homeless in the first place.
Welcome to the Foothills Region Housing and Homelessness Needs Assessment discussion forum!
The purpose of this site is to share information with the general public and to gather feedback from area residents, service providers, and business owners on issues related to housing and homelessness as part of a larger study designed to identify and describe the region’s housing and support needs both to help those who are homeless find appropriate housing and supports and to help prevent those who are at risk of homelessness from becoming homeless in the first place.
More often than not, people are surprised to hear the word “homelessness” applied to small towns and rural communities. They often respond with statements like “I didn’t think we had a homeless problem – that’s something that only happens in the big cities, right?” or “How can we have a homeless problem? I’ve never seen anyone around town who was homeless – of if I did, they were usually some drunk who eventually moved on”.
Just about anyone can become homeless or be at risk of becoming homeless. For example, what would happen to:
- … a senior on a limited fixed income who is already “maxed out” facing a significant rent increase and no viable means of increasing his or her income to cover that increase?
- … a family with children where either or both parents suddenly become unemployed and cannot find alternate work before all of their savings run out and can no longer pay their rent?
- … a teenager attempting to escaping an abusive family member or legal guardian who has no viable means of providing his or herself with food, clothing and shelter and no other family to turn to?
- … a single person living on his or her own who has been injured in an accident such that he or she is now in a wheelchair and no longer able to work at any job for which he or she has existing education, training and experience?
- … an entire neighbourhood or community hit by a natural disaster such as a major forest fire, flooding or tornado?
Housing affordability relates to the ability of individual households to meet their monthly rent or mortgage and utility payments within a reasonable threshold of their income. CMHC has determined that housing is affordable if it costs no more than 30% of a household’s before-tax monthly income. For example, if a family or individual is earning $24,000 per year before taxes, then their monthly before-tax income would be $2,000. For their housing to be affordable, they should be able to find a safe and suitable home to rent with enough bedrooms for the appropriate family members for no more than $600 per month. Similarly, if a family or individual is earning $36,000 per year before taxes ($3,000 per month), their housing is affordable if it is both safe and suitable and costs no more than $900 per month.
Housing adequacy refers to the physical safety of an individual dwelling. Housing is considered inadequate if it requires major repairs, if it requires major upgrades, and/or if it is lacking necessary services and basic facilities. Major repairs refer to plumbing, electrical, insulation, ventilation systems, disposal systems, and the structural components of a house that might warrant it being unsafe (e.g., foundation and roofing). Basic facilities refer to potable hot and cold running water, and full bathroom facilities including an indoor toilet and a bathtub or shower. Additionally, housing is not adequate if it is infested with vermin or black mould.
Housing suitability refers to overcrowding and is determined based on the total number of bedrooms within a home compared to the size of the family or household living in that home. National Occupancy Standards set minimum criteria for number of persons per bedroom and level of privacy for members of a household. These standards require:
1) A maximum of two persons per bedroom;
2) That parent(s) and children do not share a bedroom;
3) That individuals 18 years of age and over do not share a bedroom unless they are in a relationship; and
4) That children 5 years of age and over not share a bedroom with
a sibling or other household member of the opposite gender.