Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson: Budget Update ‘tackles some of our most pressing challenges’

Gregor Robertson
Photo: Chandra Bodalia

VANCOUVER Mayor Gregor Robertson on Monday said that the Budget Update “is a huge step forward in helping our most vulnerable residents,” adding, “It tackles some of our most pressing challenges and makes significant investments in areas like mental health, homelessness and renters’ rights – areas that have been dramatically underfunded in recent years.”

Robertson said: “I’m very encouraged to see the BC government making bold decisions to work in partnership with the City, first responders, front-line community service workers and people with lived experience to scale up response to the drug overdose death crisis. $322 million for immediate relief will save lives and bolster BC’s mental health and addictions system to better connect people to the services they need, when they need them.

“A commitment to fund 2,000 modular homes to get people off the streets and into secure housing is a huge step toward solving homelessness in BC.  The $7 million boost to the Residential Tenancy Branch is welcome news in Vancouver, where many renters are fighting unfair renovictions and other loopholes at a time when our vacancy rate is near zero.

“The City, through the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency, is ready to leverage the new $208 million earmarked  for new affordable rental housing with several shovel-ready sites of city-owned land. We will continue to provide the land at a nominal fee to enhance affordability and get new homes built as quickly as possible.

“I look forward to working with the BC government in the coming weeks and months ahead to make life better and more affordable for everyone who lives and works in Vancouver.”