Vancouver’s social safety net costing $5B per year: VPD-commissioned report

The confidential police-commissioned report suggested that spending on social services in the city from all funding sources amounted to $7,200 per Vancouver resident annually.

Source: (1) Vancouver’s social safety net costing $5B per year: VPD-commissioned report |

According to the summary, $5.1 billion was spent on Vancouver’s “social safety net” in 2020, equating to about $7,200 per Vancouver resident or $14 million per day. The executive summary does not specifically define what is being included as a part of the city’s social safety net.

It says the funding provides for a “copious amount” of resources and services, it states, which “may not be allocated appropriately or managed well,” pointing to mounting overdose deaths and entrenched homelessness.

Four separate City of Vancouver departments and six provincial ministries are involved in the city’s social safety net, which is hampered by a lack of communication and coordination those government agencies and social service providers, the report argues.

“Because no one is responsible for overseeing Vancouver’s social services sector in a centralized manner, many of the service providers operate in separate silos — meanwhile, community members dealing with the health system report confusion, persistent barriers, and a lack of coordination between service providers,” the report states.

Of the $5-billion figure in 2019, $1.46 billion was spent by charities and non-profits with a primary focus on social issues like homelessness and poverty, $406 million of that money in the Downtown Eastside.

The report found all three levels of government spent more than a quarter billion dollars on a dozen properties in 2020 and 2021. The average cost to operate each unit of social housing in the city was more than $3,000 per month according to City of Vancouver figures, it reported.

“However, there is no publicly available breakdown showing how staffing costs are allocated and what services are included,” the report said.

HelpSeeker’s data also reveals Vancouver’s three largest social housing operators, Atira, Portland Hotel Society and RainCity, spent almost $158 million in 2021, more than half of the money covering wages and employee benefits.

A further breakdown of the $5-billion total, including funding sources and program spending, was not included in the executive summary.

14 Million Dollars A day spent!

“Fentanyl is eating me from the inside out.” – Rehab… How much went into rehab and recovery?

158 million went to 3 poorly managed, on the take, non profit poverty pimps alone, close to half the budget for affordable and assisted housing / shelters etc.

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