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13 urban mayors renew urgent call for complex care housing solutions in BC

The BC Urban Mayors’ Caucus (BCUMC) is renewing their call on the provincial government to implement complex care housing solutions across the province.

The renewed call asks for support for the most vulnerable residents in the 13 communities represented by BCUMC – including Abbotsford, Burnaby, Coquitlam, Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Prince George, Richmond, Saanich, Surrey, Vancouver and Victoria.

The BCUMC is urging the provincial government to provide housing and support for people with complex needs who often live with mental health issues, substance use, trauma and acquired brain injuries which often leave these people to experience homelessness.

<who> Photo Credit: BC Urban Mayors Caucus

“Our most vulnerable are falling through the cracks,” said Colin Basran, mayor of Kelowna and BCUMC co-chair.

“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.”

In 2020, the BCUMC released its Blueprint for British Columbia’s Urban Future which outlines four key priorities with mental health, substance use and treatment at the top of the list.

<who> Photo Credit: BC Urban Mayors Caucus </who> Colin Basran, mayor of Kelowna and Lisa Helps, mayor of Victoria are co-chairs of BCUMC.

“We know the Province is acting on a complex care housing framework, and we appreciate that we were invited to participate in the early formative conversations as the Province developed the model of care. We are hopeful that the provincial government will make an announcement soon,” said Lisa Helps, mayor of Victoria and BCUMC co-chair.

“We can’t stress enough how urgently our communities need this complex care in place.”

The caucus released a video on Jan. 11 summarizing the renewed call for complex care housing and highlighting the strain vulnerable people and their communities are facing.

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