The City of Vancouver has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Parks Board and the provincial government, formalizing a commitment to work together to end the Strathcona Park encampment and prevent similar future encampments.
“We will find the most effective solutions to difficult social problems like street homelessness and encampments by working together with all levels of government,” said David Eby, BC’s Attorney General and Housing Minister.
The agreement, he said, means that the three parties involved will work together “on a proactive and ongoing basis to minimize the risk of future problems “while providing the housing people need.”
According to the province, the MOU clarifies the roles and responsibilities of each party involved in securing accommodation for people currently living in and around Strathcona Park by April 30, 2021.
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As part of the MOU, the Vancouver Parks Board will lead on managing Strathcona Park as the encampment is dismantled in coordination with partners. This includes installing fencing and bylaw enforcement to prevent people from moving back into the park and remediating the site for future community use.
The MOU also outlines commitments to help prevent future encampments in Vancouver. This includes:
- The province working with government partners to fund and develop temporary and permanent housing options, so no one is forced to live outside;
- The city bringing forward available land and buildings for housing or shelter and to expedite land use decisions necessary to rapidly respond to housing need;
- The city and the park board enforcing bylaws when suitable spaces are available for people to move indoors.
The MOU “gives us a plan to follow, to get those experiencing homelessness into homes, with the critical supports and services they need to get back onto their feet,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.