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Vancouver’s council approved a $1 million plan to pay for the demolition of downtown buildings.
The city’s housing and community services committee voted 8-0 Tuesday night to approve the plan to build a permanent home for the city’s homeless and their families, with plans to help fund the cleanup of the buildings.
The proposal is part of a $5.5-million plan to tackle the city and its homeless crisis.
The plan calls for demolition of more than 300 buildings, most of which are vacant.
The council approved the proposal with a 2-1 vote.
“This is a very important and very thoughtful proposal to address our homeless problem, as well as a significant opportunity to fund the demolition and relocation of many of the city blocks,” said Coun.
Scott Stringer, who chairs the housing and services committee.
“It’s a very effective way of helping our community.”
Mayor Gregor Robertson says the city has already spent $50 million in the past two years on housing and other services.
It is a huge project, he said, adding the demolition will help address homelessness.
The plan is the city first of its kind, with a total of $50.5 million in city funding, and it comes as the city struggles with a shortage of housing and support services for its homeless population.
A spokesperson for the mayor said in a statement the city will provide assistance to any person or organization that has made a request for assistance from the city, and will continue to support those who need assistance.
The city has spent nearly $150 million on housing over the past five years.