Proposed Service

Homelessness Supports
Service Referendum
Proposed Service
Voter Info
FAQs
Results

Summary

Bylaw No. 389 being “Comox Valley Homelessness Supports Service Establishment Bylaw No. 389, 2015” would provide funds to one or more local non-governmental organizations based on a board-approved five-year action plan to address homelessness in the Comox Valley. The service area that is subject of this bylaw includes the City of Courtenay, Village of Cumberland, Electoral Area ‘A’ (excluding Denman and Hornby Islands), Electoral Area ‘B’ and Electoral Area ‘C’. 

Project Background

In November 2014, a non-binding, “public opinion” vote was held, at which 71 per cent of voters said they would support paying at least $5 on their taxes for initiatives to help the homeless. In June 2015, the CVRD board voted to create a new service to provide funds to local non-government organizations to address homelessness. Participants in this service would be Courtenay, Cumberland, Electoral Area ‘A’ (excluding Denman and Hornby Islands), and Areas ‘B’ and ‘C’. Comox declined to participate in the service in favour of using other methods to address homelessness in the town. 

In August, the board voted to hold a referendum on November 28, 2015. On September 29, 2015, the CVRD board approved the wording of the referendum question as follows: 

“Are you in favour of the Comox Valley Regional District adopting Bylaw No. 389 being “Comox Valley Homelessness Supports Service Establishment Bylaw No. 389, 2015” to establish a service that would provide funds to one or more local nongovernmental organizations based on a board approved five-year action plan to address homelessness in the Comox Valley? Yes or No”

At the tax rate of two cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, the owner of a residential property assessed at $300,000 would pay a $6 per year. For a residential property assessed at $600,000, that owner would pay $12 per year. This would generate $165,000 and is equivalent to two cents per $1000 of assessed value. 

The CVRD will conduct the voting and any eligible voter can vote at any of the voting places. 

If the referendum passes, the service to address homelessness will be created as an “arm’s length” model, in that the board will approve annual funding contributions to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to deliver the services to the homeless. The CVRD will not hire staff to address homelessness nor will the CVRD borrow funds for capital projects under the new service. 

The Comox Valley coalition to address homelessness in the Comox Valley would work with local NGOs to develop a five-year plan that includes performance measurements. The board would annually approve the current-year funding as established in this five year plan and the coalition may identify a need within its plan to set aside funds for a future activities. The board may also provide input to the coalition on strategic goals that would be important for addressing homelessness in the Comox Valley.