Housing the Homeless in British Columbia
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.