Council Affirms $600,000 Commitment to Housing and Ending Homelessness

November 9, 2012 – Last night, Victoria City Council walked back a narrow vote of its own Governance and Priorities Committee (GPC) to reduce funding of Housing Trusts by $100,000 and to emasculate its own City of Victoria Housing Trust Fund. Council voted:

  1. To again provide core funding of $100,000 to the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness. (unanimous)
  2. To continue providing $500,000 to Housing Trusts to encourage low-income and supportive housing in the region. (Opposed: Young)
  3. To apportion the half million dollars equally between the CRD’s Regional Housing Trust Fund and the Victoria Housing Trust Fund. (split vote)

“Last night was a good night for Victorians who are in need and also for democracy,” said Kathy Stinson, Cool Aid’s executive director and the Chair of the Downtown Service Providers. “Everyone is relieved that Council’s sober second thought brought about a decision that will lead to better outcomes for people who are homeless or unable to afford market-level rents and which will improve the quality of life in the Capital Region.”

Council listened to extensive community feedback after the initial vote at GPC and several Councillors questioned their original vote. Council learned that Housing Trust dollars have consistently leveraged other housing funding by a ratio of 14:1. The proposed $100,000 cut would therefore translate into a loss of $1.4 million for low income and supportive housing, or nine apartments annually.

Said Stinson: “On behalf of Cool Aid and our partners in the Downtown Service Providers, I thank the Mayor and those Councillors who decided not to make cuts on the backs of the poor – and instead, to continue to work with us to eliminate homelessness in the Capital Region by 2018.”

The Victoria Cool Aid Society is helping to build homes and a better community through compassionate people who provide a variety of services that improve people’s lives, including: housing, health care, support, and emergency shelter.

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Presentation and letter enclosed.

Kathy Stinson, 250-383-1977