(Wikimedia Commons)

(Wikimedia Commons)

Victoria mayor wants to stop ticketing people sleeping in their cars

Mayor Lisa Helps believes the city’s rental shortage means people should be allowed to sleep in their cars

A proposal to stop penalizing people who sleep in their cars will be before Victoria council on Thursday.

Mayor Lisa Helps and Coun. Chris Coleman have put forward a motion to halt handing out tickets when the CMHC vacancy rate is at three per cent or lower. Victoria’s current vacancy rate is 0.5 per cent.

“One group affected by this housing shortage is people who are living in their vehicles and who also may be working,” the report to council reads. “Some of these people have come to Victoria for jobs to help address the local labour shortage – particularly in the trades – and are working but cannot find an affordable place to live.”

The exemption would only apply between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m.

According to the report, the number of tickets given out for sleeping in vehicles on Victoria’s streets has more than doubled between 2014 and 2016. The rise is believed to be connected to the drop in vacancy rates over that same time period.

Victoria Sleeping in Vehicles tickets by Katya Slepian on Scribd