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Community Programs & Services

If you're living in a BC Housing directly managed property, you're a BC Housing tenant. As our tenant, you have access to the programs and services listed below. Learn more about our Community Development Framework.

Education & Development Opportunities – In addition to the Student Tenant Employment Program (in the third tab below), be sure to check out the Education Awards Program and Family Self Sufficiency Program.

Housing & Health Services

As a tenant living in a BC Housing directly managed property, you can access provincial services and community programs through our housing and health coordinators, and tenant support workers.

Accessing programs and services

Housing and Health coordinators can help you access services such as:

  • Addictions counselling
  • Community health care
  • Diabetes clinics
  • Domestic violence response and support
  • Education
  • Grief support
  • Mental health support
  • Transportation

Tenant support workers are located on-site in many BC Housing directly managed properties. They may be able to assist you in the following areas:

  • Filling out forms and paperwork, such as Service Canada, Old Age Security or Declaration of Income and Assets
  • Goal planning related to employment, education, budgeting, etc.
  • Advice about  job search strategies and resume writing
  • Information about resources such as health services, child care, volunteering and educational opportunities plus BC Housing programs
  • Emotional support and information for household and pest management
  • Problem-solving  related to your tenancy

Find out more about our housing and health services by calling 604-433-1711 or email us at tenantinquiries@bchousing.org.

People, Plants & Homes

If you’re a tenant living in the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island Region in a BC Housing directly managed property, you can join our People, Plants & Homes program.

People, plants and homes

Throughout the year, we provide resources, workshops and support to help you garden successfully, live more sustainably and help others do the same.

The workshops and community celebrations we offer differ at each building and in each region. Programs could include:  

  • Growing flowers and vegetables
  • Cooking and preparing food from your garden
  • Growing container gardens
  • Seasonal celebrations and garden-work parties
  • Growing pollinator gardens and supporting wild bees
  • Growing and using native plants

We also build and manage community gardens in the Lower Mainland and Victoria.  Please contact us if you would like a garden plot or  have questions about a community garden at your building.

Gardening is great exercise and can help you feel better emotionally as well as physically. It’s also a wonderful form of creative expression and an excellent way to meet people.

To get involved, call us at 604-433-1711 or email tenantinquiries@bchousing.org.

 

Student Tenant Employment Program

The Student Tenant Employment Program (STEP) offers two types of employment training for youth living in BC Housing directly managed properties in Metro Vancouver and the City of Victoria. The training builds your skills and confidence and provides you with practical experience and a resume for the future.

Student Tenant Employment Program

Eligibility

  • For both STEP to Work in Vancouver and the STEP UP Leadership Program in Victoria, you must be between 15 and 18 and a tenant in a BC Housing directly managed property.
  • When the program opens each year, we mail letters, with application forms, to all eligible youth.
  • You’ll need to have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) before you can apply. Contact Service Canada to get an application form.
  • Please note that if you’ve taken part in STEP before, you’re not eligible to apply again.

Important: Late applications are not accepted.

This seven-week program is run in Metro Vancouver only. It helps you prepare for work through a mandatory two-week training period, followed by five weeks of work. We provide you with a transit pass for the seven weeks.

During your training period, you’ll prepare your resume and learn job interview techniques. You’ll also learn about:

  • Back awareness and protection techniques, and how to protect your back in the workplace
  • Standard first aid
  • Food safety for working in the food industry and restaurants
  • Working as front-line staff in the hospitality and tourism industries
  • Working with hazardous materials in the workplace

How to apply

If you’re eligible and didn’t receive a letter with an application form, you can apply in one of three ways:

  • Ask your building manager for an application
  • Call 778-452-6452 and ask for an application
  • Email the program directly at steptowork@bchousing.org and ask for an application

The program runs through the summer but starts on different dates every year. If you didn’t receive a letter from us, and want to know when the program starts, ask your building manager.

After you apply

  • We’ll contact you once we’ve reviewed your application to let you know whether or not you’ve been accepted.
  • We’ll give you a participation package upon acceptance. It has forms you must complete. Your guardian or parent must sign the forms.
  • We’ll contact you by phone to arrange a meeting or to schedule a phone call to confirm your participation and discuss any necessary arrangements.

This eight-week program is for youth living in the City of Victoria. It provides two weeks of leadership training followed by six weeks of work experience in the field of recreation.

During this program, you’ll learn how to:

  • Communicate in the workplace
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Prepare your resume
  • Work in a team

You’ll work with our partners in the City of Victoria's department of recreation. You can use the experience you gain in the program in any workplace. Your experience supports your entry into fields of work including recreation, child and youth care, and education.

You’ll receive a $600 honorarium for completing the Step UP Leadership Program.

How to apply:

  • Ask your landlord when the next program begins.
  • Download the Application Form.
  • You’ll need the signature of a parent or guardian to complete the Application Form.

Send your completed application to:

Tricia Irish, Community Developer
201-3440 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC, V8Z 3L5
Fax: 250-475-7551

For more information contact:

STEP UP Leadership Program
Phone: 250-978-2918
Fax: 250-475-7551
Email: tirish@bchousing.org
Mail: 201-3440 Douglas St. Victoria, BC, V8Z 3L5

Tenant Activity Grant

If you’re living in directly managed BC Housing, you’re eligible to apply for a Tenant Activity Grant (TAG). You can apply for funding for projects, activities, workshops and parties in your housing site.

For example, you could organize a pottery class or shared art project, a summer barbeque, an educational workshop or a winter holiday party. The activities you run will help promote community building, leadership, self-development and wellness within your housing site.

A group of three volunteers is generally required to be approved for funding.

Tenant Activity Grant

How to apply

  • Contact your community developer to ask for a Tenant Activity Grant Funding Request Form.
  • Describe your project or activity and make a budget for it.
  • You can apply at any time. There is no deadline. 

To find out more about Tenant Activity Grants, email tenantinquiries@bchousing.org.

Community Development Contacts

Your BC Housing community developer works with residents and community organizations to plan, develop and manage programs and services that support residents. Find your community developer by contacting your local BC Housing regional office listed below.

Location Address Contact
Home Office 4555 Kingsway
Burnaby, B.C. V5H 4V8
Phone: 604-433-1711
Fax: 604-439-4722
Toll-free: 1-866-465-6873
Lower Mainland Directly Managed Office 510-369 Terminal Avenue
Vancouver, B.C. V6A 4C4
Fax: 604-609-7031
Interior Region Office 290 Nanaimo Avenue West
Penticton, B.C. V2A 1N5
Phone: 604-433-1711
Fax: 604-439-4722
Toll-free: 1-866-465-6873
Northern Region Office 1380 2nd Avenue
Prince George, B.C. V2L 3B5
Fax: 250-562-6488
Vancouver Island Region Office 301-3440 Douglas Street
Victoria, B.C. V8Z 3L5
Fax: 250-475-7551