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Grants and partnerships that make it all possible

By Laura Gillanders

Published 2:14 PDT, Thu March 28, 2024

Last Updated: 2:14 PDT, Thu March 28, 2024

This is my second year on Council and I’m continually learning about the benefits grants and partnership opportunities with senior levels of government bring to our City. They really make it possible to help us do things that we need to get done, while keeping tax increases low.

A few examples come to mind that have been relevant in recent months related to big projects that will change our city forever, and for the better. 

The first is the Active Transportation Infrastructure Grant from the Province of BC.  We recently received a grant towards Phase 2 of the Steveston Highway Multi-Use pathway which will run from Number 2 Road east to Mortfield Gate. Phase 1 is currently in construction from Mortfield Gate east to Shell Road and I’m sure everyone has seen the exciting progress.

The next one that comes to mind is the Rapid Housing Initiative, delivered through Canada Mortgage and Housing on behalf of the Government of Canada. The City applied for this fund and was approved. It will allow us to build much needed affordable housing on Steveston Highway, starting soon.

Another important grant is the 2021 Homelessness Action Plan provided by the Provincial and Federal governments and administered by the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM). In the fall/winter of 2023, an encampment formed in the Richmond City Centre in Brighouse Park. As part of the budget process for 2024, Council directed staff to look for ways we could keep our emergency warming shelters open every night of the week for use by those experiencing homelessness, instead of only activating them during extreme weather. Our staff, acting on this direction, used the grant funding from UBCM to open these shelters every night to give those in need a solid, though temporary, roof over their heads this winter. We were able to accomplish this within our approved operating budget because of this grant. 

We are actively seeking solutions from all levels of government to ensure we get the support necessary to expand shelter space for Richmond residents experiencing homelessness on a long term basis.

We have more affordable housing projects and partnerships coming up and are continuously seeking funding for other important Richmond initiatives. Regular and reliable funding from the Government of Canada for dredging in the Fraser River is just one example.

These are just a few instances where various grants and partnerships from other levels of government are supporting our City. Through responsible financial management and sound governance, Council continues to work with our partners to make Richmond a strong, vibrant community.

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