Crucial ‘Rapid Response to Homelessness’ report that was scrubbed from government website: Available now here. (Public Hearing on Arbutus and 7th/8th continues today at 3 pm)

Above: This crucial government report funded by taxpayers but inconvenient for the rezoning applicant was scrubbed from the BC Housing website before the Public Hearing.

We sincerely hope that our B.C. provincial government and BC Housing are not going to go down the path of making inconvenient information “disappear.” Unfortunately, they appear to be going that way, and we hope they turn around. We also hear reports that the provincial government is ordering an SFU researcher Julian Somers to delete nearly two decades of publicly-funded research data that shows “Congregating people with mental health and addiction issues in a single building does not work.” (See also Brian Palmquist’s article, search for the word “destroy.”) Outgoing Premier John Horgan and BC Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing David Eby (listed in media as candidate to replace Horgan) need to set the tone of integrity and fact-based decision-making, right from the top.

This all relates to a proposed 13-storey (equiv. in height to a typical 18-storey) tower at 2086-2098 West 7th Avenue, and 2091 West 8th Avenue, in the midst of a Public Hearing that started on June 28, 2022. and continues today at 3 pm to hear from over 225 registered speakers.

During the second night of the Public Hearing (June 29), one speaker revealed that a crucial report had disappeared from the BC Housing website. To counter that tactic and provide the information in a timely way, we have obtained a copy of the missing report and provide a link to it below. You can view it online or download in PDF. You the taxpayer paid for it. It’s yours!

Many of those opposed say that the proposed model of 129 tiny single-occupancy rooms in a low-barrier supportive housing tower is doomed to tragically fail for the intended tenants and for the community. At the moment, opposition appears to outpace support by a factor of three to one. Most of the opponents are calling on Mayor Kennedy Stewart and ten others on City Council to reject this application by majority vote, which would then leave the applicant the option of coming back with a proposal in terms of both physical design and support program that would be more likely to succeed for tenants and be welcomed in the community.

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Excerpt: G. PROJECT DESIGN [page 4/9]
Project locations will be identified in collaboration with project partners and may include land owned by municipalities, the province or non-profit organizations. The units will be delivered and owned by the Provincial Rental Housing Corporation2 . Project sizes will average approximately forty to fifty units, depending on community needs, and will include features such as communal amenity spaces, laundry, kitchen and social gathering spaces. BC Housing will manage the procurement process in accordance with provincial requirements, managing and facilitating the delivery of projects to specification.

The link on the BC Housing website that was scrubbed is https://www.bchousing.org/publications/Rapid-Response-Homelessness-Program-Framework.pdf.

Excerpt of Introduction:

In 2017, the Province of British Columbia announced the Rapid Response to Homelessness (RRH) as an immediate response to the growing issue of homelessness across the province. Partnering with non-profit organizations, government authorities and community groups, BC Housing will create new housing units with support services for individuals who are experiencing Homelessness or are At Risk of Homelessness.
RRH is an innovative housing solution that provides an immediate housing option and necessary support services for vulnerable individuals, utilizing construction techniques such as modular design to expedite production and rapidly create new, provincially-owned housing units. Modular units will be deployed on land made available by program partners, and can potentially be relocated to future sites as needed. Property management and support services will be delivered by non-profit partners.

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