Thursday, September 25, 2014

City to House Homeless in Quality Inn Hotel

September 25, 2014 It is interesting to learn that Vision Vancouver under fire over the homeless situation in Vancouver has rented out the Quality Inn Hotel on Howe Street to temporarily house a number of homeless people. A Development company plans to redevelop the Quality Inn hotel property in two years time into a 40 story luxury condo building. However, in the meantime the City requested that this development group rent out the Hotel to the City of Vancouver at $67,000 per month for two years in order to get a number of homeless off the street and out of Oppenheimer park where roughly one hundred people have set up a tent city. Being perceived as housing the homeles is important to Vision as they are in re-election mode with the municipal election on November 15, 2014. In the 2011 election Vision campaigned on ending homelessness by 2015. Under their tenure homelessness has unfortunately increased. I find this move by the City unusual. It owns property and the 2400 Motel on Kingsway and could have easily housed at least one hundred people there. Moreover, they as the landlord would not be paying rent or property taxes and most importantly would save $67,000 per month. These funds could than be used to purchase a SRO converted hotel or rooming house while providing our homeless a permanent home rather than the temporary shelter at the soon to be closed Quality Inn Hotel. It really makes no financial sense with what the City is doing. It seems the only winner in this will be the developer. Of course Vision Vancouver is banking on that (watch this Developer to make a sizable contribution to the Vision campaign). Affordable housing is the number one issue of the campaign so far. I don't think though that voters will be fooled by this smoke and mirrors game that Vision has become known for. Jamie Lee Hamilton