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Housing for homeless will be in place by end of October, 'whatever it takes': Iveson

Adeoye Adeola

Oct. 01, 2020

EDMONTON -- At an in-private meeting Thursday, Edmonton city council will discuss how to keep a 10-week goal of ending homelessness on track.
“I’m committed to delivering dignified shelter for people that is better than tents and safer than a camp by the end of the month, whatever it takes,” Mayor Don Iveson said ahead of the meeting, speaking of the timeline he set back in August.
He told media the city is negotiating with senior orders of government to create an interim emergency pandemic shelter that would have services embedded by the Alberta government, but that “the city is not going to wait for all of the ducks to be in a row from Ottawa and from the legislature.”
He said the business community – particularly in improvement districts, Old Strathcona and downtown – have given unprecedented support for the plan.
Iveson added there would be more details “hopefully by Monday, subject to some continuing negotiations.”
“Things are moving very, very quickly, and I can tell you the city is taking a leadership role.”
Last month, Ottawa announced $1 billion for cities looking to buy and convert properties into housing for those living homeless.
Iveson told the federal minister of families, children and social development about $387 million would be needed in Alberta’s capital city to create affordable housing units, convert hotels into temporary housing and construction of new supportive housing.
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