Health and Housing Action Plan

The Nanaimo Health and Housing Action Plan sets out a path for progress.

It represents a change in direction and a commitment to not only do more, but do better, together, to meet the demands of the community.


This plan helps us see where the problems are, what gaps exist, and where help is needed most.

There are approximately 6000 people in our community living on the brink of homelessness, while another 1795 experience homelessness every year. Implemented, the plan will:

  • House and support most people experiencing long term homelessness, while reducing social disorder and rough sleeping.
  • Improve health and housing equity for all, while making better use of health, justice, and social service resources.
  • Embody Nanaimo’s tangible response to the Truth & Reconciliation Calls to Action.

The Framework for Action

The foundation of this Action Plan is built on our community’s willingness to share their input, perspectives and personal experiences.

Based on the feedback received through community engagement, a framework has been created for taking action on health and housing, with six priority areas:

Systems Coordination 

Create a community-based governance committee for the oversight of this Action Plan and coordination of the Health and Housing System.

Create appropriate, accessible, and culturally-competent housing options across the housing spectrum for individuals with diverse needs, with an emphasis on integrated supportive housing models that include substance use and mental health support, treatment, and recovery options.

Leadership & Engagement 

Promote and support community engagement and feedback to support the Action Plan priorities. 

Leverage the strengths, experiences, and contributions of diverse groups across the community to champion plan priorities. 

Complex Needs Capability

Leverage a human rights approach by ensuring access to the most basic human needs for all residents, at minimum, while connecting clients to supports they need.

Advance a complex needs capability approach across the community that ensures consistent practices across services, and improve outcomes for clients with complex needs, including intergenerational trauma, homelessness, mental health, substance misuse, systems involvement, poverty, and discrimination.

Support community health and safety through proactive planning, partnerships, and community-wide prevention.

Diverse Housing Options  

Support and bolster existing efforts in the community to increase access to affordable housing.

Create appropriate, accessible, and culturally-competent housing options across the housing spectrum for individuals with diverse needs, with an emphasis on integrated supportive housing models that include substance use and mental health support ,treatment, and recovery options.

Enact engagement strategies and programs to improve Housing & Health Equity in market housing.

Prevention 

Develop and support a holistic and integrated health and housing spectrum that leverages new and existing services and wrap-around supports across diverse needs that is person-centred across the prevention continuum; implement an Integrated Coordinated Access (ICA) model that connects the residents of Nanaimo to community services, based on individual needs and preferences

Improve access to supports, through systems navigators, to connect children, young people, and families to supports that promote lifelong health and wellbeing.

Poverty Reduction

Develop a Poverty Reduction Strategy aligned with the strategies set forth in TogetherBC, and based on community needs and priorities.

Explore demand for programming and supports that improve the economic equity and health of residents now and in future generations.

Support Community Economic Development through initiatives, advocacy, and social infrastructure development.

Securing Funding for the Action Plan

In order to secure funding to implement the Action Plan, the immediate priority is to ask for Council’s support in inviting key partners to participate in the Health & Housing Governance Board and identify key roles. The Governance Board will work to secure the initial $18.5M, which will house and support 280 people with health needs and long-term experiences of homelessness in 2021.

The Action Plan estimates a total investment of $65.5M is needed to reach its goals. This will support 4,300 people in 635 new program and housing spaces over the next five years, and be used to develop essential system coordination functions.

What are the next steps?

Spring 2021

Create a Governance Board to oversee Plan implementation, maintain accountability and focus. The Funders’ Table committee will secure the $18.5M needed for Year 1 rollout.

Support incubation of a Health & Housing Systems Planner Organization to help optimize current approaches and maximize return on investment.

Expand implementation of the Integrated Coordinated Access model to help with consistent triage of priority clients for the Health & Housing Intervention Teams and supportive housing units, and existing resources.

Launch Health & Housing Intervention Teams to offer immediate rental subsidies with intensive outreach of wraparound social and health supports to those experiencing highest health and housing complexity/ vulnerability. 140 spaces.

Summer 2021

Secure Permanent Supportive Housing with onsite wraparound social and health supports for individuals in need of intensive low-barrier housing models. 90 units.

View Nanaimo’s Health and Housing Action Plan

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