Homelessness is huge in Downtown Vancouver and is caused by a lack of funding for social housing and facilities/treatment for the addicted and the mentally ill. Changes in building codes and slum clearance have also reduced the stock of affordable housing in Vancouver over the last 40 years.
It is possible to make homelessness disappear in Vancouver.
To do this we need to spend money. We need to increase funding for the mentally ill and addicted and create or rehabilitate facilities house and treat these people.
People are not homeless choice. Most of the hardcore homeless have serious addiction and mental illness issues and would have been institutionalised in years gone by.
These people cannot look after themselves let alone properly house or feed themselves. Governments along with NGOs and charitable bodies should be given resources to house and treat these people. This would be a great way to spend some of the stimulus money supposedly coming out of Ottawa and Victoria
Homelessness isn't cheap either. Hard core addicts need to feed their habit which can cost hundreds of dollars a day. Vancouver has recently been ranked the break-in capital of North America with per capita break ins higher than New York or Detroit.
Reduced policing costs, insurance costs, and security costs can go a long way to offset the increased costs of housing and treating the homeless.
Wikipedia has a great article on homelessness in Canada that will provide great context to this post.
Please leave a comment and have your say on homelessness and Vancouver Real Estate! I'd love to hear your thoughts!