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B.C. advocacy group says new federal funding to ease homelessness just a ‘drop in the bucket’

B.C. advocacy group says new federal funding to ease homelessness just a ‘drop in the bucket’ - image
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

The federal government’s revamped national homelessness strategy doesn’t go far enough, according to the B.C. organization Alliance Against Displacement.

In an effort to cut the number of homeless people in half in 10 years, Ottawa is giving cities more money and fewer restrictions to put forward more local initiatives.

READ MORE: Feds loosen funding restrictions as part of revamp of national homelessness strategy

But Ivan Drury says $2.1-billion falls short of enough to help the province’s growing population being forced onto the streets by unaffordable rental and housing markets.

Drury says the cost to build a non-market unit is more than $250,000 each

“[This money] will give us about 1,000 units a year in B.C. because B.C. is about 15 per cent of the population across Canada, so it has to be divided across the whole [country].”
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“It’s like 8,000 or 8,500 units across Canada and about 1,200 in B.C. if it was all put towards housing… over a 10 year period, which is completely inadequate.”

He says a better solution would be a program dedicated to building 77,000 non-market units a year across Canada, and about 10,000 a year in B.C.

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