Mayor Gregor Robertson and Vancouver City Council unanimously approved plans for a new Vancouver Rent Bank today, providing crucial new micro-loan assistance for vulnerable residents and low-income families who face eviction from their homes. The program is expected to provide at least 540 small loans in its first three years to renting singles, couples, or families who might otherwise lose their housing altogether.
“Far too many families are forced to live paycheque to paycheque in this very challenging economic climate, and the Vancouver rent bank will be a crucial new line of support,” said Mayor Robertson. “We know that many low-income residents live perilously close to the threshold of becoming homeless. These small one-time loans will help those residents regain their financial footing so they can continue to be strong contributors to our community and our economy.”
The City’s grant of $148,800 over the next three years will be matched by substantial support from partners such as the Network of Inner City Community Services (who will administer the program), the Vancouver Foundation, the VanCity Community Foundation, and the Streetohome Foundation, who will provide $365,800 in capital cash for loans. The program will be similar in model to existing rent banks in Toronto, Prince George, and Surrey, and will help to prevent around 1,620 Vancouver evictions.
“A new rent bank was identified as a key priority in the City’s Affordable Housing and Homelessness strategy,” added the Mayor. “Vancouver’s rent bank continues our strong record of action to tackle housing affordability and to prevent homelessness, and we are committed to building a Vancouver where no one is forced to live on the street.”
To view the full report to Council on the new rent bank, click here: http://bit.ly/rentbank2