Vancouver Mayor thanks Council for supporting $30 million emergency COVID-19 housing action plan

VANCOUVER Mayor Kennedy Stewart on Thursday, reacting to the passage of the $30 million COVID-19 housing action plan to support unsheltered residents in all areas of the city, said a majority of Councillors had the courage to take action and support his plan to get hundreds off the street.

He added: “I would like to thank Councillors for their thoughtful interventions and amendments that helped strengthen my  original motion.”

Stewart pointed out: “COVID-19 has reduced shelter capacity, forced people from SROs, eliminated incomes, and as a result pushed so many of our neighbours onto the street. The fastest way to help and get people back into safe housing with the wraparound services to stabilize people’s lives and communities is through securing spaces in hotels, vacant buildings, and SROs. This is the path that Council chose and I am grateful.”

He said: “I look forward to seeing our staff quickly implement our direction. I am confident that our staff, along with the support of our housing and health agency partners, will be able to offer people a way off our streets quickly and safely.

“Our city has been calling for action, and tonight Council answered that call. But make no mistake, this is not a silver bullet. We still need far more investments in housing, mental health services, and safe supply from our partners in the provincial and federal governments to truly deliver for our neighbours who need it most. I am fighting for those investments – and I will not stop.”