Hoarding is defined as the excessive collection of items, along with the inability to discard them. This can result in serious risks to the health and safety of those in the home and may require treatment as well as practical management strategies.
Hoarding is increasingly recognized as a significant problem within the Island Health region:
It is estimated that 1 in 25 people have some level of hoarding behaviour. We estimate that about 11,000 homes have a hoarding problem in the Greater Victoria area. To help you take a realistic look at clutter problems, please reference this Clutter Image Rating Scale to help you take stock of the clutter you are concerned about.
If the clutter or hoarding you observe is rated at '4' or higher on the clutter scale, we would like to get involved right away to assess safety and see if we can assist in any way. If you are looking for help for hoarding, either for yourself or someone you care about, please browse our Hoarding Education & Action Team (HEAT) programs and services or contact the dedicated HEAT phone line at 250-361-0227 and one of our fire department safety officers will call you back.