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Posted: October 4, 2019

Province will fund local poverty reduction strategies

Local governments are being supported in developing local poverty reduction strategies to lift people up, break the cycle of poverty and build a better B.C. for everyone.

As part of TogetherBC, British Columbia’s Poverty Reduction Strategy, the province is providing $5 million to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) for the Poverty Reduction Planning & Action program.

Interested communities can apply for funding to support local initiatives and plans that will help B.C. reduce the overall poverty rate by 25% and the child poverty rate by 50% by 2024, a provincial government media release stated.

“Local governments see the impacts of poverty in their communities from the front lines,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “These grants are an opportunity for our government to work with municipalities and community organizations in identifying their most pressing local issues and developing local solutions in the fight against poverty.”

New projects will be funded that focus on one or more of TogetherBC’s priority actions areas, including: housing; families; children and youth; education and training; employment; income; and social supports.

Projects must involve key community partners, such as community-based poverty reduction organizations, people with lived experience of poverty, businesses, local First Nations or Indigenous organizations.

“Local governments have long advocated for a comprehensive approach to address the reality of poverty in B.C. communities,” said Coun. Murry Krause, UBCM past president. “This new funding program helps to advance TogetherBC’s priorities and will strengthen local co-ordination and implementation of poverty reduction plans.”

Applications for the Poverty Reduction & Action program will be open until Feb. 28, 2020.

Municipalities and regional districts can partner and apply with other local governments for regional grants.

The program includes two streams of funding: up to $25,000 to develop or update poverty reduction assessments or plans; and up to $50,000 to undertake local poverty reduction projects. For regional applications, the funding maximum for both streams is $150,000.

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