February 27, 2017
For Immediate Release
What: Pivot Legal lawyer and campaigner DJ Larkin is available to comment on the key findings of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Homelessness Task Force report and requests for action from provincial parties.
Housing Justice for all.
“Inaction by the provincial government on social housing and the failure to increase income assistance in a decade is cruel and inexcusable," said Larkin.
"This isn’t just a housing crisis, the province has driven people into such dire poverty that this is a health and safety crisis."
Among the report’s key findings include the following:
- There are 70+ homeless camps throughout Metro Vancouver.
- Addressing homelessness is costing Metro Vancouver municipalities $200 million a year.
- 5 people are becoming homeless in Metro Vancouver every week.
To address the problem, Metro Vancouver mayors are asking for:
- provincial commitment to immediately open 1,000 transitional (modular/purchase motels) housing units by end of 2017, and another 1,000 for 2018 and 2019;
- immediate review of shelter allowance and rent supplements to bring support levels in line with current market conditions, by end of 2017; and
- an audit of the current provincial system of housing/homelessness/mental illness to identify current gaps, to be done by the end of 2017.
When: DJ Larkin will be available throughout the day on site or by phone.
Where: Pivot Legal Society, 121 Heatley Avenue, Vancouver (parking along Alexander St.) Please call in advance if you’re arriving on site.
Why: Safe and affordable housing is the cornerstone of healthy communities and a key tool in addressing societal problems stemming from social exclusion and marginalization. It is also an important way to address the drug overdose epidemic that claimed nearly a thousand lives in 2016. Protecting and promoting the human rights of the most vulnerable through effective government policy benefits everyone; and now, heading into a provincial election it's the perfect time to bring this understanding into sharper relief for politicians who have the power to make a difference.
Peter Kim, Communications & Digital Engagement Coordinator, Pivot Legal Society
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About Pivot Legal Society
Pivot Legal Society is a leading Canadian human rights organization that uses the law to address the root causes of poverty and social exclusion in Canada. Pivot’s award winning work includes challenging laws and policies that force people to the margins of society and keep them there. Since 2002 Pivot has won major victories for sex workers’ rights, police accountability, affordable housing, and health and drug policy.