Lawyer, Pivot Legal Society
That’s really easy: housing. But there’s no government willing to pay for new housing units right now. Government needs to recognize that it’s more affordable to house people than to leave them homeless and have them use expensive emergency services.
Councillor, City of Vancouver
If we take the approach that this is something that can be solved, our thinking shifts from looking at temporary solutions to investing in bricks and mortar. The Homeless Action Plan has three prongs: housing, and investing in the bricks and mortar; support services for those who need a little more than a roof over their heads; and eliminating barriers to income support. If we actually put that road map in action and all three levels of government commit, we will solve homelessness.
President, Urban Development Institute Pacific Region; Senior Vice-president, Concord Pacific
We have to address all the different types of the hard to house, not just the homeless. It’s families, people starting out—all those people. Municipalities and cities have land available, and making that land available for $1 on a 99-year lease is really important. Vancouver is doing that. There’s no better experience than having a developer in there that knows the cost of developing.
Mayor, City of New Westminster; Chair, GVRD Housing Committee
We can’t address homelessness until we separate individuals and their reasons for homelessness. There are people with mental problems, the traditional homeless who are on the street because they want to be, and those who are forced onto the street economically.