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​Metro Vancouver today announced it will partner with member municipalities to form a Regional Homelessness Task Force, in an attempt to identify viable solutions to stem the growing tide of tent cities and homelessness across the region.The Task Force, to be Co-Chaired by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read, will work with Metro Vancouver and municipal staff to access data from across the region to assess the homelessness crisis, including:Estimates on the number of homeless in Metro Vancouver;Information on the frequency and volume of those turned away from Metro Vancouver shelters;A summary of experiences from Metro Vancouver municipalities dealing with street homelessness and encampments; andThe number of permanent shelters and interim housing spaces needed immediately to address homelessness and tent cities across the region.Once the data has been collected and analyzed, it will be used by the task force to develop a set of recommendations to encourage the provincial government to immediately deliver permanent shelter and interim housing space in the spring of 2017.The Task Force, which will be comprised of six Metro Vancouver mayors and seven local government CAOs, will also seek the advice and expertise of all member local governments, BC Housing, social service agencies, and the province of B.C. in the collection of data and development of reports.“Given the urgency of the situation and the dire need for a coordinated regional approach, the inaugural meeting of the new Regional Homelessness Task Force will be convened next week,” said Task Force Co-Chair Nicole Read. “We have to find a way to work collaboratively to get these people into proper homes.”“In addition to creating this Task Force, Metro Vancouver has also recently restructured the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation to improve access to funding through the renewed interest of the Provincial and Federal governments in making capital investment available for affordable housing,” said Metro Vancouver Board Chair Greg Moore.