Victoria city council unanimously voted to immediately cut its $10,000 catered lunch fund from the 2021 budget on Thursday, after Coun. Ben Isitt’s motion highlighted areas in greater need of money during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In his motion, Isitt suggested reallocating the money to the city’s Housing Reserve Fund, which offers grants for development and retention of affordable housing projects. He noted this would be a way to address “heightened economic hardship arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
“I think we’ve seen the extent of poverty in our community and hardship and I think introducing funds to affordable housing is a top priority,” he told Black Press Media.
However, Thursday’s vote didn’t determine whether the $10,000 would be reallocated. The decision on whether to redirect the funding or simply cut it from the 2021 budget will be discussed during council’s budget meeting on Jan. 18.
The city is set to host a virtual public town hall meeting on Jan. 13 to discuss its 2021 municipal budget.
–With files from Nina Grossman
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