Hous­ing the Home­less in Bri­tish Columbia

The Miracle - - Politics - By New Demo­crat MLA Ja­grup Brar (Sur­rey - Fleet­wood)

It’s hard for me to imag­ine that in a prov­ince as wealthy as ours, we have home­less peo­ple liv­ing on the streets. I have ab­so­lutely no doubt that we can do bet­ter. I’m sure that Bri­tish Columbians want us to do bet­ter. We have a col­lec­tive re­spon­si­bil­ity to bring about a more sta­ble and more pros­per­ous so­ci­ety — a so­ci­ety in which ev­ery per­son in our prov­ince can reach their full po­ten­tial. Our gov­ern­ment has al­ready taken some cru­cial steps to make life bet­ter for the peo­ple of Bri­tish Columbia. We have es­tab­lished three key pri­or­i­ties to build a bet­ter B.C.: make life more af­ford­able for all Bri­tish Columbians, im­prove the ser­vices that peo­ple count on, and build a strong and sus­tain­able econ­omy in ev­ery part of the prov­ince. Bud­get 2018 makes the big­gest in­vest­ment in hous­ing in B.C.’s his­tory. It lays out a com­pre­hen­sive hous­ing plan that in­vests more than $1.6 bil­lion in the next three years to build and main­tain af­ford­able rental hous­ing, to in­crease rental as­sis­tance for low-in­come se­niors and work­ing fam­i­lies and to pro­vide sup­port­ive hous­ing for atrisk Bri­tish Columbians. New mo­du­lar hous­ing was also funded in cities across the prov­ince of Bri­tish Columbia. That in­cludes Prince Ru­pert, Ter­race, Ver­non, Kelowna, Kam­loops, Smithers, Maple Ridge, Sur­rey, Vic­to­ria, Van­cou­ver, Chilli­wack, Pen­tic­ton, Ab­bots­ford and New West­min­ster. It’s so that peo­ple have ac­cess to safe and af­ford­able hous­ing in which they feel safe and se­cure un­til they have a place to call home and to live in dig­nity. Sim­i­larly, new sup­port­ive hous­ing is also spring­ing up all over the prov­ince. In Jan­uary, our gov­ern­ment an­nounced fund­ing for 450 new af­ford­able rental units in Van­cou­ver’s Down­town East­side. Gov­ern­ment also col­lab­o­rated with the city of Van­cou­ver and Van­cou­ver Coastal Health to build ap­prox­i­mately 100 af­ford­able rental homes, as well as a new with­drawal man­age­ment cen­tre for peo­ple seek­ing treat­ment for ad­dic­tions. It’s be­cause we are ac­tu­ally tak­ing a kind of holis­tic ap­proach to home­less­ness Help­ing the home­less helps ev­ery­one. The con­struc­tion of sup­port­ive hous­ing is cre­at­ing thou­sands of new jobs and boost­ing lo­cal economies through­out the prov­ince. So it’s a win-win sit­u­a­tion. We con­tinue to build new mo­du­lar hous­ing for home­less peo­ple, and the con­struc­tion of this mo­du­lar hous­ing is cre­at­ing new jobs for the peo­ple of Bri­tish Columbia. We will con­tinue to take ma­jor steps to make hous­ing more af­ford­able, with a com­pre­hen­sive ten-year plan to make life bet­ter for the peo­ple of Bri­tish Columbia.

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