Victoria to consider changes to bylaw to allow people to sleep in their vehicles on the street
The City of Victoria is considering a change to a bylaw that would allow people to sleep in their cars on the street at night
The idea for change comes because of a 0.5% vacancy rate in Victoria and a dramatic rise in tickets handed out to people sleeping in cars in 2016.
In 2014 and 2015 combined there were 142 tickets handed out for people sleeping in their cars. But in 2016 alone there were 176 tickets handed out.
City councilor Chris Coleman along with Mayor Lisa Helps brought the motion up and asked staff to look into the issue.
“It’s not an issue that technically falls within the mandate of municipalities but of course it’s the crisis on our doorstep,” says Coleman. “Any rule we put in place is subject to abuse so we will have to track it so if the rest of council wants to take this approach we will have to track and see if its working or not.”
Data compiled by the city is suggesting that since the tickets are being handed to homeless people, not tourists visiting the city.
The recommendation is for the bylaw to be changed to allow people to sleep in their vehicles between 7:00 p.m. and 7:00a.m. as long as the the vacancy rate stays to below three per cent.
The matter is scheduled to be discussed at a committee meeting next week.