VANCOUVER, B.C. – Next term Green Councillors will expand and fast-track City Councillor Pete Fry’s efforts to provide rapid shelter solutions on empty lots. Greens will also ensure there are adequate wrap-around services and staffing in Supportive Housing Units by making operational agreements a condition of occupancy permits.
“Councillor Swanson and I successfully passed a motion back in February of 2020, declaring a homelessness emergency in our city,” said City Councillor Pete Fry. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like anyone is acting with the urgency this humanitarian crisis demands.
“I’m grateful to see so many candidates calling for a triage solution, but the truth is the work is already done: I’ve brought motions to adjust Vancouver’s bylaws to allow for tiny homes and shelters; to pilot temporary tiny home communities on city land; and I’ve called on the Province and BC Housing to support these efforts.
“I also presented and passed a motion at UBCM this year asking the Province to look at tax breaks for vacant lots if they are provided for use as temporary ad-hoc housing or shelter with on site supports.”
Fry’s crusade for rapid and temporary shelter solutions began after a visit to Portland’s Dignity Village, which he shared with the Vancouver Sun back in 2014.
“Tiny home shelters with locking doors and windows, amenities and onsite supports, assembled on vacant lots, offer a degree of dignity and safety not seen in SROs, shelters, or tents on the sidewalk. There are manufacturers just outside of Seattle producing units that can be assembled in less than 20 minutes for less than $10,000 – I’ve spoken to them. What’s lacking is the senior government support for this kind of housing triage, while we wait for permanent housing to be built.”
Included in the Green housing platform is a commitment to mandate adequate levels of staffing and wrap-around services in Supportive Housing Units. Greens will accomplish this by making tenanting, staffing and operational agreements a condition of occupancy permits.
“This crisis is not limited to our streets and parks,'' said Green council candidate Stephanie Smith. “Too many people in our city are living without the services they need, often in severely understaffed, poorly maintained, and under-resourced buildings.
“Working and living in the DTES, I am acutely aware of the shortcomings of our public housing and support system. Greens have found a way to hold housing providers to a higher standard in our city and we’re committed to seeing this through.”
Greens have been working on this all term, including a 2019 motion from Councillors Wiebe and Dominato for the City to create relationships with key partners to create a dedicated, coordinated cross-jurisdictional homeless outreach services that serves to connect unsheltered and sheltered people to appropriate housing, health and support services.
The Green Party of Vancouver is continuing its calls for immediate action by all levels of government for the homeless and underhoused people of Vancouver and believe a Vancouver Agreement 2.0 is the best way to get everyone working together to treat the homelessness crisis with the urgency, compassion and commitment it demands.
2022 Green Housing Platform - PDF
Motion: A Collaborative and New Approach to Oppenheimer Park and Other Public Spaces - Councillors Wiebe and Dominato, Oct 2, 2019
Motion: Declaring a Homelessness Emergency: Making an Emergency Plan to Drastically Reduce Homelessness - Councillors Fry and Swanson, Feb 25, 2020
Motion: A Closer Look at Tiny Homes and Shelters - Councillor Fry, Oct 6, 2020
Motion: Assessing Vacant Lands to Support Housing for BC’s Most Vulnerable - Councillor Fry, Mar 1, 2022