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

Pilots fly into first place

Abbotsford crushes Surrey 8-0 on Friday

Abbotsford Indigenous students show off their skills with music videos

The students had near full creative control of the songs and videos produced with non-profit N’we Jinan

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

Your daily commute and weather forecast: Nov. 13, 2018

Chance of showers in Abbotsford today and congestion in Langley and at the Port Mann

UPDATE: Man, 19, dies in shooting on Ross Road in Abbotsford

Victim was airlifted to hospital Monday afternoon, but died shortly afterwards

VIDEOS & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford Remembrance Day 2018

Local highlights from Nov. 11 ceremonies

Canada Post no longer guarantees delivery times amid more rotating strikes

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers closed two major processing centres in Ontario and B.C.

B.C. city councillor resigns as AutismBC director amid SOGI controversy

AutismBC president Gary Robins says Laurie Guerra’s resignation is effective Nov. 12

McGill students vote overwhelmingly to change Redmen team nickname

Student union held a referendum after a campaign by Indigenous students

B.C. university Pride group replaces white supremacy posters

Around 50 people walked through downtown Victoria to share posters of love

B.C. to invest $492 million in affordable homes

72 new projects are part of a 10-year, $1.9-billion strategy

Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Pit bull cross, chihuahua owners must split costs for dogfight damage, judge rules

Eac side responsible for $577.43 towards injuries in Comox Valley incident

3 random words mark every spot on earth

Innovative mapping system assigns three word combinations to 57 trillion 3 metre squares

Most Read