Half of British Columbians Anxious About Housing, Poverty: Poll

Housing Affordability, Worth A Look

The number of British Columbians who think poverty and affordable housing is the main issue in the province is on the rise, according to a new poll.

Insights West surveyed 829 B.C. adults from Jan. 15 to 17 for its annual B.C. government report card, released on Friday.

Of those respondents, 50 per cent say housing, poverty and homelessness are the most important issues in the province.

Just five years ago that number was only 16 per cent for the same question. The figure has steadily climbed over the years up to half of residents.

This Insights West graph shows how the number of British Columbians who cite homelessness, poverty, and housing as the main issues in the province has steadily increased over five years. Insights West / PNG

Twelve per cent of respondents cited health care as their top concern, while the same number identified the economy as the most pressing issue.

Other main issues included the environment (six per cent), crime (four per cent) and education (four per cent).

Of those who say housing, poverty and homelessness are the main issues, the majority are aged 18 to 34, and residents of Metro Vancouver.

When it comes to the NDP government, the poll shows more than a third think the provincial government has done a “very good” or “good” job handling education (41 per cent), government accountability (39 per cent), the economy and jobs (38 per cent) and the environment (36 per cent.)

However, only 28 per cent think the government is tackling crime. And even fewer — 24 per cent — think they are doing enough to address housing, poverty and homelessness.

A slim majority are pleased with the decision to ban the grizzly bear hunt and end political donations from corporations and unions.

Nearly half of residents (46 per cent) think the government did a “very good” or “good” job in approving the proposed Site C dam in Peace River. Support for this particular decision is higher among people who voted for the Liberals in last year’s provincial election than those who voted for the NDP.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

Originally posted by The Province.