Affordable appropriate housing that meets the needs of the population has become a key election issue in BC. BC needs a healthy stock of available housing options so that citizens are able to live safely and well in their communities, and local governments must play a strong leadership role in finding ways to create this housing.
Accessible housing of every kind is in even more critically short supply. As a direct result, many disabled people are surviving in inaccessible homes, in long term care facilities, or experiencing homelessness. In addition, our population is aging, and more seniors will require accessibility in the future. The profound lack of accessible housing prevents people from participating in community, being a part of family life, pursuing education and careers, and aging-in-place.
Not only is the current housing stock inaccessible, the vast majority of new dwellings currently being built are inaccessible; they exclude a large percentage of the population. Rather than addressing inequality, the housing being built now will exacerbate and increase homelessness, the need for long term care beds, and inequity, for the lifetime of the buildings being built. “Housing as a human right is an important precondition for several other human rights, including the rights to life, work, health, social security, vote, and education. Everyone should be able to access housing that meets their needs without discrimination or harassment.’ – Canadian Human Rights Commission
Everyone can live in good accessible housing. It is well designed, flexible, and meets the varying needs of its residents. It enables disabled people and seniors to live in their communities and be involved in community and family life. There is no good reason to continue to build homes that not everyone can live in, or visit, and that increase inequality. We must commit now to making residential housing accessible and available to everyone who lives in BC.
We are a small, grassroots group of disabled people dedicated to improving equity and equality for disabled and aging British Columbians. Started by Spring Hawes and Michele Rule, who came together with the purpose of advocating for more real accessible housing in our communities, we believe safe, appropriate housing is a human right. We hope to educate local government candidates on the critical shortage and their role in addressing it so that when they are elected they can and will make change.
Contact us: AccessibleHousingPledgeBC@gmail.com