Honourable Ravi Kahlon
Minister of Housing
Room 248 Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
Dear Minister Kahlon:
I am writing today to inquire about a local supportive housing project in my constituency of West Vancouver-Capilano.
The Travelodge Motel site at 2060 Marine Drive, North Vancouver, has been used to provide housing to residents for nearly three years. Last year, BC Housing confirmed a lease agreement for all 61 rooms of the motel until November of 2023, with the possibility of an extension until 2025.
While this site is classified as supportive housing, there are questions about the level of support that BC Housing, and the current operators, have been providing and whether they are adequate to meet the needs of its vulnerable residents, as well as the surrounding community.
I have been approached by a growing number of people with safety concerns about open and unsupervised drug use in the adjacent parking lot and increasing vandalism to local homes. One of the most common concerns I am hearing is about the lack of clarity and accountability from your ministry about this project, and a lack of communication with neighbourhood residents.
We know that there has been a pattern of increasing crime, safety risks, and social disorder around other motels purchased by your government to house vulnerable people, causing significant distress to both residents and others in the area. Unfortunately, your government has a track record of warehousing people with complex needs in rundown motels without the supports they need — resulting in negative impacts for everyone involved.
As such, I want to ask you directly for a detailed list of the on-site mental health and addictions supports and daily staffing levels available to residents at the site each day, and what resources are available to both residents and staff.
Additionally, neighbourhood residents deserve an understanding of your Ministry’s plans for the site beyond the end of the lease in November of this year. Are you currently working to extend the lease to 2025, or do you have other plans?
In the interim, local policing has suggested 24/7 security on the premises, in addition to the establishment of a system that would ensure only residents can access the property and their rooms.
Thank you for taking the time to examine this important issue. I look forward to your detailed response.
MLA West Vancouver-Capilano
BC United Shadow Minister for Housing, Childcare, Autism & Accessibility, Gender Equity & Inclusion