B.C. housing minister to meet with Kamloops city council
Kamloops city council will get a virtual visit from the provincial minister for housing next week. Minister David Eby is expected to appear virtually on Jan. 25 in an open council meeting at Kamloops city hall. Although the meeting agenda has not been published, the city is expected...
Kamloops city council will get a virtual visit from the provincial minister for housing next week.
Minister David Eby is expected to appear virtually on Jan. 25 in an open council meeting at Kamloops city hall.
Although the meeting agenda has not been published, the city is expected to agree to a memorandum of understanding with B.C. Housing this month, a Crown corporation under the purview of Eby's ministry.
The agreement is part of a notice of motion put forth by councillor Bill Sarai in February 2021, which included requests for meetings with three provincial ministers.
The memorandum of understanding, as written in Sarai's motion, requested that all B.C. Housing projects include a good neighbour agreement and that they each provide wrap-around services and accessible washrooms. Lastly, it called for a commitment to a "coordinated approach" to future B.C. Housing developments.
The motion also called for a third-party review of all current supportive housing units in Kamloops, including the impact on its residents and the surrounding neighbourhood.
In a council meeting on Jan. 11, another motion was put forth that would ask multiple agencies, including the city, to coordinate and plan for extreme weather shelter spaces twice per year. Councillor Sadie Hunter coordinated with councillors Dale Bass and Kathy Sinclair on the motion, but it was decided that council would discuss the motion again on Jan. 25 once staff presents reports on the city's current efforts to address social issues in Kamloops.
A B.C. Housing spokesperson confirmed that Eby will attend the Jan. 25 open council meeting virtually.
The City of Kamloops has discussed social issues in the city at council meetings multiple times throughout the year, but many B.C. cities are experiencing some of the same issues.
The B.C. Urban Mayor's Caucus includes 13 B.C. mayors united in their calls to provincial government to find solutions for vulnerable people experiencing homelessness.
Co-chair, and Kelowna mayor, Colin Basran said in a mayor's caucus release that many are "falling through the cracks."
Basran said those people need more complex supports than the current healthcare, supportive housing models or judicial system can currently offer.
“Our most vulnerable are falling through the cracks. Municipalities have invested in supportive housing, funded more police and bylaw officers and created policies to increase inclusion in our communities and yet more needs to be done and for that we need the Province’s support," Basran said.
The Urban Mayor's Caucus represents more than 55% of the B.C. population. Basran, along with Kamloops mayor Ken Christian, represent the Thompson-Okanagan in the group of 13 mayors.
The mayors are calling for the province to deliver those complex solutions in months, rather than years, in a news release and video released last week.
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