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Poverty reduction grants addressing local needs in the Lower Mainland

Poverty reduction grants addressing local needs in the Lower Mainland

May 20, 2021 at 1:20 pm  BC, News, Politics

Vulnerable and low-income people in Delta, Langley and Vancouver will be better supported thanks to $150,000 in government funding for local poverty reduction strategies.

“Local governments are crucial in our efforts to reduce poverty in B.C., because the impacts of poverty are felt most keenly at the local level,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “By supporting local governments in the development of their own poverty reduction plans and projects, we’re ensuring they have the tools and resources to make a difference. As B.C. continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, we know people still need extra support, and these grants do just that.”

These projects are from the second intake of the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program, administered by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM). UBCM supports local government plans and projects designed to reduce poverty at a local level, as well as the Province’s poverty reduction strategy, TogetherBC.

The City of Langley and the Township of Langley will each receive $25,000 to create poverty reduction plans. These plans will be used to inform regional transportation planning and parks and recreation plans. The City of Delta will also receive $25,000 to create a poverty reduction plan that will focus on service needs in the community.

A collaborative project between The District of West Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver will receive $75,000. This project will develop a poverty reduction plan that will be created with public input.

“Everyone’s experience of poverty is unique, just as every community’s needs are unique,” said Susie Chant, MLA for North Vancouver. “This funding ensures that local governments can create plans specific to their communities, so we can recover and rebuild in a way that will ensure everyone has the opportunity to succeed. Here in North Vancouver, we’ll be teaming up with our neighbours and taking the time to listen to people with lived experience and others to really understand what’s needed.”

All projects will involve key community partners, such as community-based poverty reduction organizations, people with lived experience of poverty, businesses, local First Nations or Indigenous organizations.

“Local governments have called for a deeper provincial commitment to poverty reduction for many years now,” said Brian Frenkel, president, UBCM. “Our members also recognize that poverty is contextual and that our collective response needs to reflect the unique conditions and challenges in B.C.’s communities. We appreciate the support this program is providing for the development of local strategies and approaches.”

Throughout B.C., 10 projects spanning 12 local governments will receive a total of almost $350,000 from this intake. To qualify, projects, plans and strategies must focus on one or more of TogetherBC’s priority-action areas, which include families, children and youth, education and training, housing, employment income and social supports.

Quick Facts:

  • In 2019, the B.C. government provided $5 million to the UBCM to fund the Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program.
  • In 2020, 63 local governments received a total of $1.6 million for 34 poverty reduction plans and projects.
  • The program includes two streams of funding:
    • up to $25,000 to develop or update poverty reduction assessments or plans; and
    • up to $50,000 to undertake local poverty reduction projects.
  • Municipalities and regional districts can partner and apply with other local governments for regional grants.
    • For regional applications, the funding maximum for both streams is $150,000.

Learn More:

TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy:
https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/british-columbians-our-governments/initiatives-plansstrategies/poverty-reduction-strategy/togetherbc.pdf

Learn more about the UBCM Poverty Reduction Planning and Action Program grants: https://www.ubcm.ca/EN/main/funding/lgps/poverty-reduction.html

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