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City councillor to demand affordable housing timeline

VANCOUVER- A Vancouver City Councillor is demanding a concrete timeline for the implementation of affordable housing in Vancouver.

“We’re in a crisis. We have thousands of people homeless on the street, we’re spending up to 8 million to put people in shelters up until after the Olympics. Why aren’t we putting that money immediately into housing?” asked City Councillor Ellen Woodsworth today in an interview with The Tyee.

Next Tuesday, Woodsworth will bring a motion to the Vancouver City Council that the City of Vancouver call upon the Province to provide a timeline for the development of 14 social and supportive housing sites.

The province confirmed last week that six of the sites have been fully approved for funding totaling $172 million. The remaining eight sites will be considered in the next round of capital funding, they said.

But despite the confirmed funding for the six, no plan for beginning development has been released.

Woodsworth said there is no excuse for this.

“I don’t see any reason why that construction wouldn’t be starting immediately,” she said, and she wants to hear from Housing Minister Coleman when it will happen.

“They said wait till after the election, and we’re after the election and we still haven’t heard anything.”

In the motion, Woodsworth will not put forward a suggested timeline herself. She stated only that the city has everything ready to go, and are waiting on Minister Coleman.

“We’re in the midst of crisis, he’s the housing minister, why doesn’t he build affordable housing?”

The meeting will take place Tuesday, July 7, at 2:00 pm. A complete video stream of the meeting will be available on the city’s website the day following the meeting.

Christine McLaren reports for The Tyee

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