There was an interesing post over on PriceTags the other day, covering the City's recent efforts to expand and/or improve the quality of our social housing.
It turns out that so far in 2007, 255 units have either been upgraded or newly added to Vancouver's supply of social housing, while another 695 units are currently under construction.
More substantially, the construction of another 649 units plus 613 rooms has already been funded, and is presently under development.
The Grand Total - 1,357 housing units, and 855 rooms are on their way, so far.
To put these numbers in perspective, the average 30-storey condo building brings about 150-180 new units onto the Vancouver condo market, while larger projects such as the Woodwards building will create 736 new units (of which 200 are for social housing).
For further comparison - Concord Pacific's entire 6-building North False Creek development will add as many as 1,100 new units to the City's growing condo supply.
As PriceTags goes on to note, it's unfortunate that stories like this don't get as much press as they deserve - definitely not as much as the more controversial demonstrations by some 'homeless advocates'.
By no means is this to say that we should consider Vancouver's homeless problem to be solved. But it is worth giving credit where it's due, and to shed some light on the fact that the grown-ups in charge are actually doing a lot more for the homeless than we hear about.
As it turns out, these new social housing units can't be completed fast enough, in light of the role that local slum-lords have been playing, in adding to our housing problems.