Saanich firefighters survey damage to a tent in Regina Park after a fire broke out Sept. 1 in one of B.C.’s largest tent camps of 2018. (Kristyn Anthony/Black Press)

Housing Minister Selina Robinson touts B.C. government housing programs

Municipal leaders cheer new infrastructure funds

Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson congratulated local politicians Wednesday for their “bold moves” to accept modular housing for homeless people in less than half the time promised by her NDP government.

The NDP election promise of 2,000 modular housing units was delivered in less than half of the two years allowed for it, Robinson told delegates at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Whistler. She congratulated them for standing up to public push-back in the 22 communities that accepted the effort to eliminate “tent cities” popping up in urban areas.

Speaking to reporters after her speech, Robinson said the acceptance of transition housing has improved as communities have seen it is effective, with “wrap-around supports” to help overcome the disorder of people living on the street. She said the program got 200 people off the streets in the Whalley strip in Surrey and other locations with persistent camping.

Robinson got a standing ovation with the announcement of two new federal-provincial infrastructure funds. The $95 million rural and northern communities fund will cover up to 100 per cent of costs for approved projects in communities with fewer than 5,000 people, for things like broadband internet, local transit and Indigenous health and education facilities.

Another $134 million goes toward a community, culture and recreation fund, with approvals to be announced in late 2019. Robinson advised delegates to “go home and get busy” applying for the funds.

She also announced that land has been purchased for a new 50-unit rental housing project for Grand Forks, which was hit hard by flooding last spring. That’s in addition to a 50-unit project for homeless people in the community, with meals and other supports such as employment and skills training.

Robinson received polite applause when reminded delegates that her government moved to get “big money” out of local politics. The NDP government passed legislation to ban corporate and union donations to local politicians and capped individual donations at $1,200, in time for province-wide local elections in October.


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Chilliwack reaction to TMX approval coming in mixed

Feedback has been ranging from outright acceptance to outrage

Loaded firearm in a backpack nets 2.5 years jail for Chilliwack offender

Shaun Fitzgerald, aged 38, has 45 adult convictions but vows to make changes

FVRD chair calls B.C. incineration plan for Philippines waste ‘disturbing’

Metro Vancouver ‘uniquely capable’ of safely disposing of waste coming back to Canada, say officials

RCMP believe Missing Hope teenager was headed to Chilliwack

Keely Reeze Loewen, 18, last in contact with a family member on June 13

Chilliwack residents reminded to ‘stand by your pan’ after kitchen fire Tuesday

Unattended pot on stove leads to fire and smoke damage in McIntosh apartment unit

VIDEO: Weekly roundup of what’s making the news in Chilliwack

Check out what to expect in the June 21 print edition

New Westminster police seek video of fight between two teens

Police responded to a fight at Pier Park in the early hours of June 14

B.C.-born Carey Price brings young fan to tears at NHL Awards banquet

Anderson Whitehead first met his hockey idol after his mother died of cancer

Licence issue delays boozing while cruising on BC Ferries

Planned June launch for alcohol sales delayed

B.C. school mourns after 13-year-old killed by fallen tree on field trip

Teenager died after being struck and pinned by tree while on a field trip near Sooke

B.C. temporarily halts resource development to protect caribou

The caribou population in northeastern B.C. has dwindled over the last two decades

Students disciplined after anti-LGBTQ signs posted in Kamloops high school

Vessy Mochikas, SD73’s principal for inclusive education, called incident a learning opportunity

‘The Fonz’ gives thumbs up in letter to dyslexic students at B.C. school

Students in Maple Ridge reached out to Henry Winkler after reading one his Zipster books.

Most Read