The City updated the progress of its 10 year effort to find homes for the thousands of people living without homes in Edmonton – and according to officials, in its fourth year; the long term plan has already seen measurable success.

According to Edmonton’s Homeless Commission, the Year 4 update in the 10 year plan to end homelessness shows 1,664 permanent homes have been found for the more than 2,300 people who were homeless – most of those homes are private rentals throughout the city.

The commission said 86 percent of people who found housing were given the help they needed, and managed to maintain their housing.

The city has nearly 30 percent fewer homeless than in 2008 – according to the October 2012 Homeless Count, which was conducted by Homeward Trust volunteers, and counted 2,147 Edmontonians as homeless.

In addition, the commission said funding from the provincial government to support the homeless continued to rise.

However, the update pointed out a number of issues that need to be dealt with as the 10-year plan reaches its mid-point.

Funding is needed to build supportive, permanent housing for those who need assistance.

The city’s homeless are also facing a tightening housing market, with vacancy rates dropping and rents on the rise.

In supporting those who need the most help, the commission said more focus needs to be put on prevention, to cut the number of people ending up homeless in the first place.