Peace River to participate in large-scale effort to map out effects of COVID-19 on rural housing and services

Peace River to participate in large-scale effort to map out effects of COVID-19 on rural housing and services

Posted October 1, 2020

In Fall 2020, Peace River will take part in the second collective effort to measure housing instability and service needs across rural Alberta.

Town of Peace River Family and Community Support Services participation is funded in part through the Government of Canada’s Reaching Home program, administered through the Alberta Rural Development Network.

Along with 26 other rural Alberta communities, Town of Peace River FCSS will be collecting resident feedback over October 1 and October 31, 2020. The survey will be administered by local service providers – food banks, FCSS, Alberta Works, Horizon Learning Centre, etc. — and will be available digitally/online or through paper surveys.

Peace River’s participation follows a pioneer project that covered 20 communities throughout rural Alberta. The project surveyed 1,771 individuals on location at 185 service providers across 20 communities with a total population of 291,531 (StatsCan 2016).

1,098 of those surveyed declared that they did not have stable housing and/or they were at-risk of losing their housing. Respondents from the 2018 project identified “low income”, “[inability] to pay rent/mortgage”, “inadequate housing”, and “job loss” as top reasons for why their housing situation was unstable.

These inequities could have compounded with the COVID-19 pandemic—which has caused evictions and job losses—and the project aims to collect much-needed data on its extent.

With resident feedback, the survey will help identify the type and the number of homes currently needed in each community; and the kind of services and resources needed by residents. Data collected from the project will help local service providers better understand and address identified gaps within the community.

To learn more about the project and ways to participate, please contact:

Laurie Stavne, Peace River FCSS, 780-624-1000 Ext. 1039, lstavne@peaceriver.ca or
Marc Boychuk, I Care, chukboy@hotmail.com

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