Resolution on Homelessness passed at 2021 Diocese of New Westminster Synod

Synod is the Annual General Meeting (convened every two years) of the Diocese of New Westminster. The Bishop is the Chair of Synod. Chaired by Bishop John Stephens, Synod 2021, the 121st, took place on May 15, 2021.

The Westside Anglicans Neighbourhood Ministry Board of Management proposed a resolution on housing affordability and homelessness in the Lower Mainland, which was passed by Synod delegates with a vote count of 224 in favour, 16 opposed, 10 abstentions (out of a total count of 250 voting delegates).

RESOLUTION 01

MOVED: The Reverend Alex Wilson

SECONDED: Mrs. Shirin Theophilus, ODNW

THAT,

1. The Diocese of New Westminster acknowledge the dual crises of housing affordability and homelessness in the Lower Mainland;

2. Synod 2021 direct Diocesan Council to create a task force made up of a wide variety of lay, ordained, and Aboriginal voices, to engage with leadership at every level of the church, with other faith traditions, and those in the public square:

  • a) to explore and assess the impact of housing affordability and homelessness within regional and parochial communities, consulting with civic, business, and community support programs to understand the ways in which race, Aboriginal identity, age, socioeconomic status and human sexuality impact accessibility to housing;
  • b) to explore the ways in which other churches, ecumenical, and multifaith bodies across Canada have responded to their own affordability and homelessness crises;
  • c) to develop and propose a diocesan response to these two crises that may include, but not be limited to, utilizing current land holdings in this Diocese;
  • d) to report its findings and response options, based on those findings, to Diocesan Council in a timely manner.

3. That members of the task force conduct this work in the course of their regular duties, with any budget requirements identified being allocated from the Diocesan Justice and Peace Fund at the discretion of property and finance.

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