As the deadline for a city promise to end homelessness in Vancouver approaches, the latest report from city staff shows much more work needs to be done.
The self-imposed marker set by Mayor Gregor Robertson and the Vision Vancouver-dominated council is next March.
The latest count of 1,798 homeless is up from 1,715 in 2010.
City manager Penny Ballem says 683 new housing units are slated to be finished this year with more than 900 in the works for next year.
She says 4,000 units are currently managed by the private sector, but many low-income tenants are paying $375 a month to live under horrible conditions in those buildings.
Ballem suggest the provincial government commit $250 million every year for 100 new units.
She also says the city needs at least 160 winter shelter beds because funding is only available now for 105.
Meanwhile, a plan to provide more affordable housing in one of North America’s most expensive cities is closer to being approved.
Vancouver’s city council has received a report detailing how 2,500 new units could be created by the year 2021.
Chief Housing Officer Mukhtar Latif says the proposed Affordable Housing Agency will focus on families with a household income less than $80,000 a year.
He says 17,000 of the city’s 25,000 subsidized units have leases expiring in a few years, so it’s important to build up a new mix of low to moderate-income housing.
He says the first phase involves the creation of 500 family-friendly homes containing up to three bedrooms.