The Health and Housing Task Force, appointed by the City Council, is dedicated to elevating health and housing as key community priorities. With a unified goal of ensuring health and housing for all, the Task Force has developed the Health and Housing Action Plan, a strategic five-year roadmap aimed at fostering collaboration and initiating bold actions.
To formulate this Plan, the Task Force undertook a comprehensive community engagement and research process throughout 2020. This process was pivotal in identifying the specific needs and priorities within Nanaimo. The findings revealed several key challenges:
These challenges are compounded by the lack of sufficient capacity to address the housing, health, and social needs of affected individuals and families. The COVID-19 pandemic has further intensified these issues, highlighting and widening the existing income and housing affordability gaps. The effects of systemic racism and health inequities, layered atop an aging population and the ongoing impacts of colonialism on Indigenous people, add to the complexity of these challenges.
Moreover, the current system of care is fragmented and uncoordinated, leading to significant gaps and inefficiencies in the social safety net. The consequences of these systemic issues are far-reaching, affecting the entire community. They manifest in various forms such as early childhood trauma, social disorder, visible homelessness, and social marginalization. These issues not only lower the overall quality of life but also deepen the inequities within our community.
The Health and Housing Action Plan, therefore, represents a critical step towards addressing these challenges, aiming to create a more inclusive, equitable, and supportive community in Nanaimo.
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