VANCOUVER, B.C. – At tonight’s School Board meeting Green Trustee Estrellita Gonzalez will introduce a motion aimed at developing social housing for vulnerable youth on land owned by the Vancouver Board of Education (VBE). Her motion asks staff to work with the city on zoning and permitting and with all three levels of government to determine funding options.
Gonzalez’s motion notes that access to safe, affordable housing is the biggest obstacle to vulnerable youth finishing school and often results in lifelong consequences. Her moton aims to provide nurturing communities where students can connect and support each other and incorporates support services such as daycare for teen moms, health services, and life and career coaching.
“As a Board it is imperative we look at innovative and maybe even radical ways to solve challenges. Vancouver’s vulnerable youth need us to step up,” said Gonzalez.
“Too many young people never get the opportunity they need to start life right. Land is at a premium in Vancouver and it’s the one thing the VBE has plenty of. I’m proposing we use that land for social housing aimed specifically at helping vulnerable young people get the start in life we all deserve.
“The VBE cannot do this alone; it needs the support of government, the community, local charities and stakeholders; but we have an opportunity to use our land to create something that will help young people for generations to come.”