Today’s budget from the BC government is a huge step forward in helping our most vulnerable residents. 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.
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.