Residents asked to weigh in with vital signs survey

What issues are at the top on Greater Victorians' minds?

What issues are at the top on Greater Victorians’ minds?

That is what a survey by the Victoria Foundation aims to answer as part of the 11th annual Victoria’s Vital Signs report.

The survey asks residents to share their opinions on 12 critical issues in the community ranging from arts and culture, belonging and engagement, economy, environmental stability, health and wellness, to housing, standard of living and transportation.

The information is then used to build a snapshot of livability and well-being in the region and helps non-profit organizations, civic leaders and individual donors make decisions about granting, policy making and charitable giving.

“We just really need to hear from the community on some of these other things. I think everybody knows what some of the main target areas are, whether it’s around tent city, sewage or the Blue Bridge. It’s an opportunity for them to really get to know their community better and have a say,” said Victoria Foundation CEO Sandra Richardson. “It’s just a conversation starter.”

Last year’s vital signs report showed 89 per cent of Greater Victoria residents described themselves as happy, 74 per cent are happy in their job and are satisfied with work, and 81 per cent said it is likely or very likely they will be living and working in the area 10 years from now.

Residents were also asked what the best things about Greater Victoria were. Topping last year’s list were the natural environment, climate, air quality, walkability, parks and a feeling of safety.

The report is a good indicator of residents’ concerns in the community as well.

Topping the 2015 list were the cost of living, housing, mental illness, homelessness and transportation. Twenty-six per cent of residents feel high or overwhelming stress associated with personal finances as well.

The Victoria Foundation is one of Canada’s oldest community foundations. It manages charitable gifts from donors and allows them to create permanent, income-earning funds. The proceeds from those funds are then distributed as grants for charitable or educational purposes.

Residents have until July 1 to take the survey. It can be found at victoriafoundation.ca.