Vancouver staff say much more needs to be done to eradicate street homelessness by deadline

Vancouver, BC, Canada / News Talk 980 CKNW | Vancouver's News. Vancouver's Talk
Vancouver staff say much more needs to be done to eradicate street homelessness by deadline

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.


  1. Moonbeam, you too must be smokin’ crack.

    If you keep building shelters, more and more will come.

    Excellent location, mild weather, cheap housing, hell, I might sign up myself soon!!!

    • Maybe, if allowed, the Building of more Social Housing should occur at other collindent cities such as Burnaby, or asp per recent news, the City of Abbottsford so that if people want they can re-locate to them cities and be housed there… only if the people want to do this relocating to less densed cities and receive maybe a rent discount incentive? hu? :)

    • The federal government needs to step up to the plate. BC is the recipient of homeless persons from across Canada due to its hospitable climate. Vancouverites should not bear this burden alone, particularly when 2/3 of our income tax $$ are paid to the Feds.

  2. Another pie in the sky idea , you want less people falling through the cracks , than bring back rooming houseing , Stop tearing down the old houses , and fix them up , These monster houses every one is building could be designed to house a dozen people , instead of five or six , And increase the welfair rate by $250. a month , than may be a large persent of these people could be helped , but you still will have those that are hard to house , because they are independent , or just plain nuts . What you have now isn’t verry good . There is a lot of discrimination out there , when trying to rent a place , In most cases you are wasting your time . I looked for 6 months , before I found some thing I could aford , and was lucky they rented to white people . What you get for your money is a rip off ,

  3. The more you build, the more bumps to come. they get free drugs, food, clothing , all because our city citizens are so kind. If we all toughen up and kick them out of the city, like Abbotsford. don’t spend a million dollar a day to waste our tax dollars.

    • Like Abbotsford using taxpayer $$ to fight the poor in the courts. They were disgraced around the world with the Chicken Crap scenario Now head for the Supreme court to say they treat the poor with respect! These people can’t even go in the mountains and disappear not allowed anymore to live off the land,you have to hang around for a handout that you people created in the first place with lowest minimum wages and now foreign workers taking all the Jobs and business not hiring Canadians what do you think this landscape is going to look like in let us say 3 years,if you think you are paying too much now just wait when these people have nothing, no training, no jobs, no hope! Pipelines do not last forever nor LNG only a few permanent jobs from them,then what! Shipbuilding will be done with mostly foreign workers,10,000 Irish coming and Filipino’s to do the Contruction& welding as Rich Coleman said are the best welders in the world.Business crying and trying to get the Government to keep the TFWP intact and crying doom but, still will not training or hire Canadians,so do not put all the blame on the poor you people were disrespecting Canadians for a very long time now saying they are not good workers how any people can turn on their own is beyond me,must be cultural.

  4. The homelessness issue is directly related to lack of social services, medical services for mentally ill persons, and child poverty. That coupled with BC’s warm weather attracts to the streets of Vancouver homeless people from across Canada. This problem does not belong to Vancouver alone, it belongs to the Provincial and Federal Governments. It is unreasonable to expect one municipality to bear such a huge burden.