News

Vancouver Rent Bank Helps Low-Income Residents in Crisis

For Immediate Release

Vancouver Rent Bank Helps Low-Income Residents in Crisis

October 10, 2012 -- Today’s launch of the Vancouver Rent Bank means low-income residents facing potential eviction or loss of essential utilities due to a temporary financial crisis will be able to apply for interest-free loans under a new City of Vancouver initiative supported by key Vancouver partners and administered by the Network of Inner City Community Services Society (NICCSS).

The Vancouver Rent Bank is funded by the City of Vancouver, Streetohome Foundation and the Vancouver Foundation.

“We know that many Vancouver residents are at risk of becoming homeless due to high rents and very low vacancy rates,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “That’s why this new Vancouver Rent Bank is a top priority in the City’s Affordable Housing and Homelessness strategy - it will reduce homelessness by helping to prevent an estimated 1,600 evictions. These small timely loans will help those residents regain their financial footing so they can continue to contribute to our community and local economy.”

  “Preventing individuals and families from becoming homeless is essential to solving homelessness in the long term,” said Rob Turnbull, President and CEO of Streetohome Foundation. “This exciting and innovative project will not only provide short‐term financial solutions, but also long‐term benefits, such as financial literacy training and connections to support services in Vancouver.”

The goal of the Vancouver Rent Bank is to reduce the high cost of homelessness for taxpayers by providing an option to renters in temporary financial crisis.

Program partners have also agreed to support the initiative through expertise and other services. Vancity will provide micro-loans advice to help facilitate the approval process, BC Hydro Power Smart kits will be provided to eligible clients to help reduce overall expenses and energy consumption and the UBC Department of Economics will help with data collection and analysis.

“Homelessness prevention, particularly for those in marginalized communities, continues to be a priority for us,” said Faye Wightman, President and CEO of Vancouver Foundation. “Access to affordable housing in Vancouver is more and more difficult, so we’re pleased to provide the Vancouver Rent Bank with not only the financial support for this critical program, but also the rent bank knowledge we have gained by supporting similar community programs in BC.”

"The Rent Bank has helped my daughter and I get a new place in our time of need. They were great!!" said one of the first recipients of a loan from the VRB.

In addition to providing loans for eligible clients, the VRB will provide advocacy and referral services to increase housing stability. In some cases, a loan from the VRB will not be sufficient to solve the initial crisis. The VRB will work with community organizations to provide the necessary additional supports to ensure the resources are effective at improving housing stability, and preventing the loss of housing.

“For NICCS, it really comes down to the helping individuals and families through difficult times,” said Kate Hodgson, the Executive Director of the Network of Inner City Community Services, the organization that administers the loan program. “We are excited to support this innovative and important program and administer these emergency interest-free loans to low-income Vancouver residents who are facing eviction due to short-term financial crisis.”

NICCSS is administering the Vancouver Rent Bank. NICCSS is a consortium of community-based organizations, resident groups and consumer groups who work together to coordinate and deliver services to children and families and individuals. Existing programs are focused on Vancouver's inner-city population and addressing gaps in existing social services for residents in city neighbourhoods.

For more information about the Vancouver Rent Bank or an application form, visit niccss.ca/vrb or call 604-566-9685.

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Media contacts:

Network of Inner City Community Services

Kate Hodgson

Executive Director

604.351-8095

khodgson@niccss.ca

 

City of Vancouver

Corporate Communications

604.871.6336

media@vancouver.ca

 

Christina Panagio

Streetohome Foundation

604.629.2711 ex 103

christinap@streetohome.org

 

Vancouver Foundation

Christine Faron Chan

Communications

604.688.2204 ext.117

Christine.faronchan@vancouverfoundation.ca

Wednesday October 10th Events: "Our Place" Update, NICCSS Annual General Meeting and Vancouver Rent Bank Launch

Please find below our invite to our events at Woodwards W2 Media Cafe on Wednesday October 10th.

Join us for a light lunch and networking at 12 noon, at 12:30 we will be sharing  "Our Place" a presentation on the exciting developments in our community's Place-Based Strategy.

The NICCSS AGM begins at 1:00, at the Woodwards W2 Media Cafe.

This all followed by the launch of the Vancouver Rent Bank  at 2:00pm.

Please share with your networks-- we hope you will be able to join us!

 

Vancouver Rent Bank

 

VANCOUVER RENT BANK

Network of Inner City Community Service Society (NICCSS)is excited to be coordinating the Vancouver Rent Bank. As published in articles by the Vancouver Sun, CBC News and the Georgia Straight, the City of Vancouver has approved funding for operating cost for the development and administration of a Vancouver Rent Bank to provide emergency interest-free loans for people in temporary financial crisis facing eviction.  The Vancouver Rent Bank is a collaborative project with the City of Vancouver, Streetohome Foundation, Vancouver Foundation, Vancity and UBC. NICCSS will be working with community groups in local neighborhoods across Vancouver to deliver Rent Bank services and provide Financial Literacy workshops. The Vancouver Rent Bank will be launched in September 2012.

For further information please contact.

Amanda Pollicino

Vancouver Rent Bank Manager
Network of Inner City Community Services
309-877 E Hastings
Vancouver BC, V6A 3Y1
Tel: 604-569-2787
Fax: 604-569-3779
apollicino@niccss.ca
www.niccss.ca

 

  

 

Youth Inclusion & Youth Homelessness A Community Forum

Youth Inclusion & Youth Homelessness A Community Forum

Youth Inclusion & Youth Homelessness

A Community Forum

Please join us

 Thursday, March 8th 10:00 to 5:00

At Creekside Community Centre

Featuring the

2nd Roger Tonkin Visiting Professorship in Adolescent Health Research

with Dr Coco Auerswald

Community Panels on Effective Strategies for Support, Intervention for Youth Facing Homelessness

·         Share innovative models of service and housing and to collaborate on visions to address gaps in our current continuum of youth services.

·         Increase awareness of evidence-based practices to build resilience and stabilize young people in high risk environments

·         Collaborate across sectors to improve housing options for young people facing homelessness

 

FREE!!  Light Refreshments Served

Explore different perspectives Youth & Homlessness with Headlines Theatre

Hear from Community Workers, Researchers and Young People on:

Historical Perspectives on Street Youth Services in Vancouver

Research on Interventions & Innovative Models of Support and Housing for Youth

Incorporating Youth & Community Voices in Collaborative Models

 

Be part of furthering conversation as we prepare for community dialogues on June 20, 2012!

 

Registration begins February 6th, 2012

To register and for more information contact:

youthhomelessforum2012@gmail.com

 message: 604-569-2787  fax: 604-569-3779

Sponsored by: Division of Adolescent Health and Medicine, BC Children’s Hospital, (PHSA), RICHER (Responsive Intersectoral Community and Children’s Health, Education and Research Initiative), Child and Family Research Institute, NICCSS (Network of Inner City Community Services Society), Vancouver Parks Board & Headlines Theatre