For Immediate Release: April 9, 2019
Victoria, BC — Ready to Rent BC, the non-profit organization behind the rapidly growing RentSmart education model for successful tenancies and housing stability – is launching an online toolkit to inspire communities to begin the shift from crisis response to homelessness prevention. The Homelessness Prevention Toolkit includes effective practices that can be adapted to and complement existing community-based efforts to address housing instability and homelessness.
“Currently efforts and resources to respond to homelessness are focused on reacting to crisis. But why wait until people are caught up in homelessness to offer support?”, asks Kristi Fairholm Mader, outgoing Executive Director of Ready to Rent BC. “The Toolkit was created in direct response to the demand for information and practices about prevention, and approaches and strategies needed to make this shift.”
On top of helping people to avoid crisis and the associated trauma, homelessness prevention is cost-effective. According to the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, preventive measures could reduce the public cost of addressing homelessness from $56,000 (CDN) to $14,924 per person annually. This could easily add up to almost $600 million (CDN) in overall savings if 40,000 people were prevented from becoming homeless for one year.
“Homelessness prevention is complex and requires a big system response,” says Linda Amy, incoming Executive Director of Ready to Rent BC. “Along with high-level structural and systems changes that are necessary for prevention to work, communities and housing professionals also need to integrate upstream and preventative thinking locally into their current approach. But where to start? The objective of this Toolkit is to give examples and ideas on how prevention can be applied by organizations along with case studies, templates and financial considerations for easier implementation.”
The toolkit highlights Canadian organizations that are successfully pioneering innovative best practices to help people break the cycle of homelessness and ensure housing stability.
- Office of the Commissioner of Housing Equity (OCHE) – Eviction Prevention
- Aunt Leah’s Place – Friendly Landlord Network
- Coalition to End Homelessness Victoria – Peer Housing Support Program
- Eva’s Initiatives for Homeless Youth – Family Reconnect Program
- The Salvation Army Centre of Hope – The London Housing Stability Bank
- Atira Housing – Good Neighbour Agreements
- Furniture Bank Toronto – Resource Bank
- RentSmart – Tenant and Landlord Education
- Tenant Orientations for Housing Stability
Also featured in the Toolkit, are podcasts sharing the stories directly from people involved in these practices. In addition, the Toolkit includes a prevention assessment tool to help organizations and communities explore their role in prevention efforts.
Check out the Toolkit at https://rentsmarteducation.org/homelessness-prevention-toolkit/ and see where you can make the shift from crisis to prevention.
We’d like to recognize generous donors, CIRA and Vancouver Foundation, who provided support for the Toolkit and accompanying podcast series. We’d also like to thank the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria that helped us with the research.
About Ready to Rent BC
Ready to Rent is a BC based non-profit that works towards increased housing stability for youth, individuals and families through the RentSmart model: education for tenants that is delivered by community partners and recognized by landlords. The model continues to grow from a small regional program to a growing network of RentSmart Educators working within 300 community organizations and housing providers across BC, Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario.
Aygul Khalaileh, Manager of Engagement
Office: 833.333.7171 ext: 708 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org