Two Advocacy Groups Filed Case to Investigate Housing Allowance Policy

A provincial watchdog has been asked by two advocacy groups to investigate a policy that cuts housing allowances for parents whose children have been placed in temporary foster care.

The housing allowance may be cut from a family rate of $570 a month to a single person’s rate of about $375, due to the policy. Parents may lose their homes and the group mentioned that the parents will fail to gain the custody of their children.

Lobat Sadrehashemi, a staff lawyer at Pivot Legal Society shared that the policy also pits two arms of the provincial government against each other.

Ms. Sadrehashemi said, “Social workers are charged with returning children safely to their parents as soon as possible. But the welfare system makes that impossible by taking away the housing that is necessary for the child to return to their parents”.

According to the report filed by the two groups, if parents have addressed issues like alcohol or drug abuse, it will result in their children being detained by the ministry. Such parents can’t take their children back as they don’t have adequate housing.

Pivot and the West Coast Women’s Legal Education and Action Fund filed the complaint to the provincial ombudsperson needs numerous years of communication between advocacy groups and provincial authorities.