Vancouver braces for rising homeless count
Less than a week before the newest homelessness count for Metro Vancouver comes out, the city of Vancouver says it is bracing for a dramatic increase in people on the street.
In what was termed an “urgent update” to council, city manager Penny Ballem on Wednesday said a worst-case scenario could see the city experience a 25-per-cent increase in homelessness.
She laid the blame for a confluence of factors, including delays by B.C. Housing in getting new supportive housing finished, the ill-timed closure of temporary shelter housing and an unexpected rise in the number of privately owned single-room occupancy units going vacant as owners raise rents above provincial shelter rates. All totalled, the city is short more than 700 units this year, she said.
Jeff Lee Reports
Ken, cardiac patient