DFA Profile - Housing 2

Living in the Gap: Ana Eberly

Spotlight on housing and homelessness

Meet Ana Eberly: a 32-year-old single woman with no dependents on social assistance in Vancouver, British Columbia. She represents the many people in Canada in core housing need facing multiple barriers to financial stability and full participation in society. 

Ana receives disability support for a cognitive disability which prevents her from maintaining full or part-time employment; as a youth, Ana felt a sense of contribution and belonging through her participation in extra-curricular and community programs, but since aging out of these initiatives, she finds herself feeling increasingly isolated.

Ana has secured co-op housing in the Downtown East Side of Vancouver, at a below-market rate of $739 a month. With shelter funding from income assistance capped at $375 in British Columbia and a median rental rate for a one-bedroom apartment of $1,223 in Vancouver, Ana is unable to improve her housing situation, as is the case with many in her city, working or not; even with her government benefits, Ana would be on the street were it not for her securing one of the limited spaces in co-op housing.

Despite Ana’s access to certain government transfers, the high cost of rent takes up 60% of her total monthly income putting her at an increased risk of homelessness. Any additional monthly expenses incurred directly affect her ability to buy nutritious food, which is essential to maintaining cognitive stability. Ana is covered under a BC pharmacare program for people with psychiatric issues, though certain treatment options remain beyond the scope of the insurance plan. While her psychiatrist has recommended certain medications, she cannot fill these prescriptions as many non-generic medications are rejected by her pharmacare plan.

Ana Eberly's monthly income: $1,225.50

$7,427.00 below the poverty line (annual after-tax low-income measure).


GST/HST credit: $30.87
British Columbia low-income climate action tax credit: $9.63 
Travel allowance (to subsidize bus pass): $52.00
Social Assistance (disability): $1,133.00
Total: $1,225.50

Ana Eberly's MONTHLY expenses: $1,251.09

Does not include additional expenses such as clothing, out-of-pocket health expenses, recreational activities, furnishings, etc.


Estimated cost of a nutritious diet: $294.09


Co-op housing in the Downtown Eastside: $739.00


Monthly transit pass: $93.00

Phone and internet

Phone Bill: $65.00
Internet: $60.00 
Total: $125.00

End of the Month: $25.59 short

Facts & Figures

what can I do about it?

In a country as rich as ours, it is unacceptable that 3 million Canadians spend over 30% of their income on rent. Add your voice to over 12,000 individuals, organizations, and government representatives who support Dignity for All’s comprehensive, rights-based anti-poverty plan. Together we can work towards a poverty-free Canada. 

Check out Dignity for All’s one-pager on Housing and Homelessness for more information.

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