To say that I am disappointed in the decision rendered by the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) is an understatement.
A shelter is not a home.
This decision belittles the needs in our community.
I – like many in this City – will continue to fight for modern and permanent housing solutions.
It remains unclear where the Salvation Army would secure significant capital and annual investments that are required to advance their project.
Earlier this year, City Council declared a housing and homelessness emergency in this City. That is not something a City does lightly. The Salvation Army’s proposal is inconsistent with these objectives, and the planning tribunal’s decision merely offers a Band-Aid to the issue.
How can we continue to invest new money into an old and broken model?
Everyone deserves a key to their own home.
When seeking solutions to end homelessness, priority needs to include solutions for the Indigenous, racialized and LGBTQ2+ communities, along with women and families. There must be equal access to permanent and stable housing for all.
Importantly, the City is in the process of updating it’s 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan. With this plan, there is a recognized need for a family-first approach to housing investments.
I will continue to push for funding for housing – something the Salvation Army’s proposal ignores.
The community’s efforts should not go unrecognized – from the very beginning, I was overwhelmed with pride, but not surprised, in how Vanier did not back down. Instead, with the leadership of SOS Vanier and Drew Dobson, they rose to the occasion to fight and engage communities and leaders from across the City, presenting alternative solutions to help our City’s most vulnerable.
The community knows we can do better and I will continue to push the City to do better.