Sidney, along with North Saanich, has seen an increse in individuals sleeping in vehicles. (Black Press Media File).

Sidney, along with North Saanich, has seen an increse in individuals sleeping in vehicles. (Black Press Media File).

Sidney, North Saanich record uptick in people living in vehicles

Individuals sleeping in vehicles linked to homelessness, housing affordability issues

Bylaw officials on the Saanich Peninsula have seen an apparent increase in the number of individuals living in their vehicles, but the full extent of the issue is not clear.

“We have seen an increase in individuals living in vehicles and RVs, however, we do not have statistics on this,” said Paula Kully, Sidney’s communication coordinator.

While the specific extent and cause is not clear, research has historically linked this phenomenon to individuals struggling with housing affordability and homelessness. A related question concerns what if any role COVID-19 has played in exacerbating pre-existing causes of housing affordability and homelessness.

Sidney’s streets and traffic regulation bylaw states that “no person shall use any vehicle or trailer parked on a street for the purpose of lodging, sleeping accommodation or a residence” with the initial fine for sleeping in a vehicle being $65 or $50 if paid within 30 days.

RELATED: Central Saanich Police find more people are sleeping in their cars

RELATED: Dallas Road is not an RV park: Residents fed up with overnight parking

Neighbouring North Saanich has also seen what Rebecca Penz, manager of communications, described as “a modest increase in complaints last year which may be a result of the impacts of COVID-19.”

North Saanich prohibits individuals from living in a tent or trailer. “The property owners can be fined; however, the district’s approach is to work to achieve voluntary compliance,” said Penz.

Looking elsewhere on Saanich Peninsula, Central Saanich does not permitted persons to occupy a trailer or motor home on property that is not zoned for a recreational vehicle campground or travel accommodation whether it’s their own property or not, said Britt Burnham, manager of community services.

The fine for such a non-permitted use is $500 per day, while the fine for parking to sleep is $50 per day, said Burnham, adding that the municipality has not had many complaints about this issue in pegging the total number of cases at seven for the “past few years.”

COVID-19, she added, has not changed the neither number of complaints nor the severity of the issue.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Boma Brown won the Emerging Leader Award for her work founding the Support Network for Indigenous Women and Women of Colour. (Courtesy of Boma Brown)
Victoria SNIWWOC founder up for national women’s award for volunteer efforts

Victoria’s Boma Brown is a semi-finalist in the running for the L’Oreal Paris Women of Worth award

(Black Press Media file photo)
Aggressive bus passenger arrested in Saanich for uttering threats

Suspect had outstanding warrant for assault at bus stop, two assaults on BC Transit buses

(Pixabay photo)
New program to provide recovery beds for at-risk Greater Victoria youth

It will aim to meet ‘health and social’ needs of wide range of youth

Pacific Coastal Airline flights 8P1543 on Feb. 22 and 8P1538 on Feb. 24 had cased of COVID-19 onboard, according to the BC Centre for Disease Control. (Pacific Coastal Airlines photo)
Two flights between Kelowna and Victoria report COVID-19 exposures

Pacific Coastal Airlines flights on Feb. 22 and Feb. 24 affected

Aerial view of the Capital Regional District residuals treatment facility at Hartland Landfill where residual solids are turned into Class A biosolids. (Photo courtesy CRD)
Plant closure sends more biosolids to Hartland Landfill

Saanich residents are concerned they were never consulted

A health-care worker looks at a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Palais de Congress site as Quebec begins mass vaccinations based on age across the province, Monday, March 1, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Nearly 1 million COVID-19 vaccine doses arriving in Canada this week: Anand

Anita Anand says she’s received assurances from the vaccine manufacturer

The machines are akin to ATMs and allow drug users at risk of overdose to get hydromorphone pills dispensed to them after their palm has been scanned to identify its unique vein pattern. (CANADIAN PRESS)
Feds dole out $3.5M for ‘vending machines’ to dispense safer opioids in B.C.

Vancouver and Victoria both have a MySafe machine to help reduce overdoses

Kelowna’s lakefront visitor centre is one of 130 around the province. Tourism businesses have been hardest hit by COVID-19 restrictions on travel. (Destination B.C.)
Tourism, small business getting COVID-19 help, B.C. minister says

$300M grant program has delivered $50 million so far

The incident happened in downtown Castlegar. Photo: Betsy Kline
Castlegar teen recounts stabbing after stranger breaks into grandmother’s house

The unnamed teen survived a terrifying attack Feb. 21

(Black Press file photo)
Agassiz boy, 11, dies from ‘extensive injuries’: Homicide team

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Dr. Amit Desai of St. Francis Hospital receives a COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 17. (Photo courtesy of CHI Franciscan)
B.C. has now vaccinated more people from COVID-19 than total confirmed cases

B.C. has reached a milestone, vaccinating roughly 1.6% of its population from the coronavirus

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a suspect who smashed the window of an adult toy store and made off with more than $1,200 in merchandise. (File photo)
Vancouver Island sex shop out $1,200 in merchandise after suspect steals ‘colossal’ product

Suspect smashed window of Nanaimo store, cutting himself in the process

Riverside Calvary Church in Walnut Grove. (Langley Advance Times file)
B.C. is ‘stereotyping’ churches as riskier for COVID than other spaces, lawyer argues

Judge said that freedom of expression, religion are not at issue in the case

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell gets acquainted with Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird’s 10-month-old daughter Sophia, husband Steve and four-year-old Amy at the B.C. legislature before a ceremony to endorse the Tsawwassen Treaty, Oct. 15, 2007. (Sharon Tiffin/Black Press)
Indigenous consent comes first and last for B.C. industrial projects

Environment minister can still approve permits without consent

Most Read