The new year has brought some changes in the way that the government addresses poverty.

Many of the new regulations are especially important within Prince George, as the community has been under scrutiny for significant social issues this past year, including poverty, unemployment, and homelessness.

The province says that the new rules aim to prevent unnecessary homelessness and other hardships.

As of January 1st, the BC Government has officially:

  • increased the amount of time two people can live together before receiving the reduced couples’ assistance rate
  • removed the two-year financial independence rule to better support young adults who need income support
  • increased the streamlined reapplication period from 3 months to 6 for those returning to assistance
  • ended the practice of immediately ending support for homeless, or those who are facing homelessness, who are unable to provide documentation.

“All of these changes are removing unnecessary barriers,” explained Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

A complete list of changes has been made available online.