Abbotsford may be in line for more federal homelessness funding

Abbotsford on shortlist for federal homelessness money

City one of 16 shortlisted for designation as new ‘designated community’

Abbotsford has been shortlisted for inclusion in a program that would allow the city to receive more federal money to fight homelessness.

The city has long had its eyes on “designated community” status from the federal government. That status provides ongoing money to municipalities to address homelessness, and federal officials have previously suggested Abbotsford would likely be added to the program once contracts are re-opened in 2019.

Now that the program is set for renewal, the federal government has been accepting applications from prospective new designated communities. The feds aim to add “up to four to six communities” to the current roster.

Abbotsford was the largest city to pass the first stage of the application process, according to a federal website. It is among 16 communities that have until mid-September to submit a full proposal. The website says a final decision on successful applicants will come in the fall.

Seven of the 16 short-listed communities are located in British Columbia. In addition to Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Cowichan Valley, Penticton, Vernon, Comox Valley, and Fort St. John have been given the go-ahead to submit a final proposal.

The nine other short-listed communities are all in Ontario.

Funding for new communities will increase slowly, and those selected will have to split $1 million in the coming fiscal year, $1.9 million in 2020-21, and $3 million in 2021-2022, according to the website.

Currently, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Prince George, Nelson, Vancouver and Victoria are already designated communities. In 2015-16, they split a little more than $10 million.

Abbotsford, meanwhile, had access only to a smaller pool of money. It did receive money to support its co-ordinated intake and referral program, which aimed to provide one-stop services for homeless men and women and which has been integrated into the city’s ongoing efforts to address the issue. The funding has expired, however.

A homeless count in 2018 was conducted as part of the program. It found 233 homeless men, women and youth in Abbotsford, although the co-ordinators of such counts stress that figure likely misses many who are not known to those tallying people without homes.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Four activists face charges linked to 2019 Abbotsford hog-farm protest

Mischief and break-and-enter charges laid for incidents on four separate days prior to the protest

Three men face attempted murder charges after Harrison Hot Springs stabbing

Man, 24, sent to hospital with life-threatening injuries following attack Wednesday

‘Tiny home’ being built for Abbotsford woman with severe allergies

Online campaign raises $59,000 for custom cargo trailer for Katie Hobson

Chilliwack children can get tested locally, Fraser Health confirms

Erroneous information online and via 811 has many families driving to Abbotsford for testing

Face masks will be mandatory for customers at all Walmart locations

Requirement goes into effect on Wednesday, Aug. 12 across Canada

371 British Columbians battling COVID-19, health officials confirm

Thursday (Aug. 6) saw a second straight day of nearly 50 new confirmed cases

Visitors and non-residents entering closed remote B.C. First Nation’s territories

With limited resources, they say they don’t have any authority or power to enforce the closures

UBC loses appeal on Fisheries Act convictions

BC Supreme Court upholds order to pay $1.55-million fine

Masks to be mandatory on BC Transit, TransLink starting Aug. 24

Both BC Transit and TransLink made the announcement in separate press releases on Thursday

Acclaimed B.C. actor Brent Carver passes away

Carver, one of Canada’s greatest actors with a career spanning 40 years, passed away at home in Cranbrook

B.C. would not send students back to school if there was ‘overwhelming risk’: Horgan

Plan has left many parents across the province worried about their children’s safety

Canucks blank Wild 3-0, take series lead in penalty-filled NHL qualifying clash

Jacob Markstrom stops 27 shots to lead Vancouver past Minnesota

North Okanagan man chains himself to tree in protest of construction

Crews began work clearing space for a new facility Thursday, Aug. 6

Most Read