Updated: Jul 17
June 18th, 2021
Shopping around for a new place? Well, if you're on BC PWD and get $375 monthly for housing, some these might be a little out of your price range, but don't worry, there are options!
This shed may look luxurious and roomy (or not), but at $560 we'd need to double the shelter allowance to have a shot at living in it.
This is a pretty nice pet bed -- too nice in fact. At $430, it's not even within our housing budget, although I'm sure a dog or cat somewhere will get to enjoy it.
Also coming in at $430 is this pair of Air Jordan sneakers. There was an old woman who lived in a shoe, but if you're on PWD you better find somewhere else to live, because you can't even do that.
Living in a sturdy wheelbarrow like this sounds like fun, doesn't it? Well at $388, you can dream on.
Now this one is getting closer to your price range, but at $382 we can't afford the luxury of living in a dresser either.
This is a heavy bag stand; not an actual heavy bag, just the ugly thing you hang the bag from. I'm not sure how you'd live in it either, and it looks like it would be painful to try. But you know what, at $370 we've finally found something in our price range (just barely)! Yay!
Other options within the shelter allowance price range are a sleeping bag, cardboard box, and a plastic bin (but not too big of one, they start to get pricey).
By the way, as a bit of a gaming fan, I need to mention that the PlayStation 5 video game console is priced at $630. So basically, on PWD your worth in terms of housing is half a PlayStation. How awesome!
All this makes you wonder how people are supposed to get by on $375 a month for housing. It's no wonder that persons with disabilities are disproportionately among the homeless and precariously housed populations.
Policymakers who set this amount make salaries in the hundreds of thousands, and still receive housing allowances that are many times greater than $375.
Without a stable place to live, where someone knows they will be able to return to each month without fear of living in a shelter or on the street, how can anyone feel safe and secure enough to lead a happy, healthy life?
As part of our Fix PWD project that is in the works, we are going to be exploring the housing issue in greater deal, talking to housing advocates throughout the province and developing a series of advocacy tools around the issue.
Say it with me, 375 = not enough to stay alive!
Spencer van Vloten is the editor of BC Disability. To get in touch, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org!