Costly appraisal for city-approved camps in Edmonton has one councilor concerned – Edmonton

Edmonton is now in the summer months when homeless camps pop up around the city.

I want to help those in need, Ward O-day’min Coun. Anne Stevenson asked the administration two weeks ago what it would cost for the city to approve its own camps this summer.

“Administration came back with the report looking at how some small sanctioned camps would operate and most notable is the significant price tag,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson said the cost of setting up and running small city camps for 60 people for three months is $2.1 million, including costs for a range of social support and 24-hour security.

A welcome list, but one Stevenson said comes at a much higher price point than she anticipated.

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“For that level of investment, we’re better off investing in other solutions that have a longer-term impact,” Stevenson said.

She says the report also outlines other options, such as tiny residential villages, mobile homes and apartments.

Continue reading:

City is exploring options to address rising homelessness in Edmonton

Great alternatives, but ones Stevenson said might not be available until next spring.

“I’m disappointed we can’t do more this summer,” Stevenson said. “What is happening now is not good for anyone.”

Jim Gurnett of the Edmonton Coalition on Housing and Homelessness said sanctioned camps are an option that should not be dismissed.

“If (people) are going to be camping and living in these informal conditions anyway, a sanctioned and monitored place that’s healthier and safer is absolutely a good direction,” Gurnett said. “And I believe it can be successful.”

Gurnett said if money is the issue, it’s important to determine what the cost of not choosing that option is.

“$2 million, lives saved, and healthier communities could be a good investment,” Gurnett said.

Stevenson said she would like to explore lower-cost options when the council debates the motion on Monday.

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But with budget constraints, she doubts this plan will pull through at its current price tag.

“There’s a sense of failure by Edmontonians, the failing people in our community who need housing, which is a very basic thing that we’re all entitled to,” Stevenson said.

If approved camps are a no-go, Stevenson said she’d like to focus more on getting people living in tents into permanent supportive housing.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc. Costly appraisal for city-approved camps in Edmonton has one councilor concerned – Edmonton


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