The B.C. government’s announcement that more than 600 spaces in hotel rooms and community centres have been secured for homeless people in Vancouver have brought with it a call for further action.

Namely, that it shouldn’t just temporarily take over underused hotels, but outright purchase some of them for low-income residents.

“We need to develop as a province an acquisition strategy to buy the hotels,” said Jill Atkey, president of the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association.

Atkey believes the province should look both at hotels and other aging purpose-built rental stock as opportunities to dramatically increase the amount of shelter-rate housing available.