Report highlights severe crisis with 30% increase in homelessness in Metro Vancouver

THE Preliminary Data Report for the 2017 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver, prepared by BC Non-Profit Housing Association and M.Thomson Consulting, on behalf of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy’s Community Entity, Metro Vancouver found 3,605 people homeless in the region-wide count, an increase of 30% from the previous 2014 count. Click here to download the Preliminary Data Report.

“Significant investments in new affordable housing, maintenance of the existing housing stock and coordination of support services for people who are homeless is needed at all levels immediately to address this crisis,” said Kishone Roy, CEO of BC Non-Profit Housing. “As homelessness has increased in our region, the calls for greater and urgent government action are getting louder. Both the federal and provincial governments, have recently made significant investments but even these are insufficient to address our affordable housing backlog.  The BC Affordable Housing Plan released earlier today by the BC Rental Housing Coalition provides a framework to address homelessness and the housing crisis in the province.”


Preliminary Report Findings:


  • A total of 3,605 people in the Metro Vancouver region were identified as homeless on March 8. Of those, 1,032 were unsheltered and 2,573 sheltered.
  • Region-wide, 828 more people were identified as homeless in 2017 compared to 2014, representing a 30% increase in homelessness and highest number to date.
  • The largest homeless populations can be found in Vancouver, with 2,138 people, followed by Surrey with 602 people.
  • Homelessness increased in all communities except on the North Shore, between 19% (Burnaby) and 142% (Delta/White Rock).


Homelessness among Aboriginal people, seniors and youth


  • Aboriginal people represented 34% of the homeless population, with 746 surveyed individuals identifying as Aboriginal.  This is the highest share reported to date in a regional count and is a very strong over-representation compared to the total population.
  • A total of 230 seniors between 55 and 65 years and another 176 seniors above the age of 65 years, for a total of 556 seniors counted as homeless. Seniors aged 55 and over thereby represented 23% of the homeless population compared to 18% in 2014, as share that has steadily grown.
  • A total of 199 children under 19 years of age and 179 youth between 19 and 24 years were found homeless on March, for a total of 378. Young people under 25 years thereby represented 16% of the homeless population in 2017 compared to 20% in 2014.


Homeless Count Background:


  • Homeless counts take place in Metro Vancouver every three years and every year in the City of Vancouver.
  • The 2017 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver is a 24-hour snapshot of people who were homeless in the Metro Vancouver region on March 8, 2017.