City of Vancouver receives $51.5 million to help house vulnerable residents

Oct 27 2020, 10:09 am

The City of Vancouver has received a $51.5 million commitment from the federal government to help house vulnerable residents.

The announcement was made in Ottawa on Tuesday morning when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the launch of the Rapid Housing Initiative — a $1 billion investment with the goal of creating permanent, affordable housing units.

The initiative will help create up to 3,000 units across Canada, including new modular rentals, converting non-residential buildings into affordable housing, and rehabilitating buildings that are abandoned or in disrepair into affordable homes.

Of the $1 billion investment, $500 million was allotted to 15 major cities including Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, and Vancouver. The other $500 million will be used for projects and applications from provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous governing bodies and organizations, as well as non-profit organizations.

The funding also comes shortly after Vancouver City Council approved a $30M housing purchase proposed by Mayor Kennedy Stewart. Stewart’s plan called for the leasing and purchasing of housing units in vacant apartment buildings, commercial hotels, SROs, and other buildings for affordable housing.

“This $51.5 million commitment, combined with our own local investments, will allow us to rapidly stabilize the lives of hundreds of our neighbours and the communities they call home,” Stewart says in a statement.

He adds that the next step will be convincing the provincial government to provide “wrap-around services” to further alleviate the homelessness seen in areas of Downtown Vancouver.

With files from Zoe Demarco. 

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