Every year Tikva’s housing facilities are 100% full with many more families on the waiting list. For this reason, with the help of members in our community, Tikva raises money to expand housing capacity and meet the needs of our community.
Affordable Housing Issues in Our Community
Did you know 16.1% (4,225) of all Jewish Vancouver residents live below the poverty line? In Vancouver there are at least 450 Jewish children under the age of 15 living in households that depend on income assistance.
Other people on income assistance are fleeing abusive relationships and have few life skills that enable them to work. Because of their limited financial resources, these people may live in deplorable, unsafe, inadequate places. Unscrupulous landlords or so-called “friends” often exploit them. They may be homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless.
For those people who have mental health issues, their problems may be even more difficult. Community–based health supports are often unobtainable.
If homeless, they may live full-time or part-time on the street, “couch surf”, sleeping on someone’s sofa, having to move on a regular basis. These people have no stability in their lives. They are often unable to maintain social relationships and their diet and health deteriorates.
For these and other reasons, Vancouver Jewish social service agencies have identified that safe, secure, affordable housing is an extremely important priority that needs to be addressed. Appropriate housing is the basis for a healthy lifestyle, which provides opportunities for employment, friendships and participation in the community.
Tikva Housing conducted a survey of the housing needs within the Jewish community of Greater Vancouver. Click here to read the full report – Tikva Survey Final Report March 23 2015
Affordable Housing Issues in Greater Vancouver
In Greater Vancouver, over 4,200 Jewish people have significant financial challenges in their every day life, to pay for food, shelter, clothing, transportation – all the things that most of us take for granted. Most of these people have to pay more than 50% of their income for shelter. According to CMHC, affordable housing should account for a maximum of 30% of gross income
Many of these people are considered the “working poor” who have limited life-options. For example, on a gross income of $2,000 per month (40 hours per week * $12.50 per hour), you should pay a maximum of $666 per month for rent. Average rents in the Lower Mainland far exceed that affordable level, leaving very little money left to buy food, prescription drugs, pay utilities, taxes, transportation, clothes, upgrade your job skills or even look for a better job.