The City of Vernon has made its case for more affordable housing support to the province’s housing minister.
Mayor Akbal Mund says he and other city reps met with Selina Robinson at the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver, and outlined growing issues with homelessness in the city.
Mund says Vernon sometimes gets overlooked when it comes to government support.
“We live in an area, the Okanagan, where people are now starting to move to. It’s growing, and we have our concerns as a smaller community in terms of Kamloops and Kelowna that seem to get a few more resources,” Mund tells Kiss FM.
Mund says the area needs to be viewed as having 90-thousand residents in the regional district, rather than just Vernon.
Mund says all they can do is ask the province for more support.
“It’s a conversation to let them know how concerned we are with the homeless population in our community. We look for solutions, and we know they will take it to the federal government as well, so we’ll see what comes from it.”
Pictured: Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
The city reps met with Judy Darcy, Minister of the Mental Health and Addictions Ministry at UBCM Tuesday.
“Council representatives presented the issues of mental health and addictions, in particular, the opioid crisis which is impacting the City of Vernon,” says a City release. “Minister Darcy was advised that there is a correlation between these issues and the growth in the City of Vernon homeless population. Council’s hope is that there be a better integration between Ministries dealing with the issues of housing, mental health, addictions and poverty.”
Vernon has four council members and two administrative staff at the annual conference.