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VIDEO: Loyal Wooldridge proud of council's work addressing homelessness

Loyal Wooldridge is seeking a second term on city council.

As Kelowna first openly gay city councillor, he sees himself as the voice for the disenfranchised.

"I have tried to bring a different perspective," said Wooldridge, "of marginalized folks or under-represented voices, whether that's people with disabilities or the queer community."

Wooldridge also operates a business in Kelowna, so he brings that perspective as well.

A big issue in Kelowna has been homelessness, and he proudly points to what's been accomplished in the city over the last four years.

"We've done a lot of great work when it comes to homelessness with housing almost 400 people," Wooldridge said.

Still, he admits, people point to the fact that there are hundreds more who are still on the street.

"Just imagine where we'd be if we didn't house those folks," he said pointing out that much of the hardest work lies ahead.

"What we've been able to do is begin to understand the type of housing that we need next, which is complex needs care and we've been very active in advocating to the provincial government for that."

Wooldridge said while there's been a lot of attention on high-rise development, he is more interested in ramping up development of more modest projects to help address the affordability issue.

"I think we really need to focus on 'missing middle' housing," he said. "That's six-storey level wood frame (housing) which is definitely going to be a more economical product to build."

Wooldridge also believes the city needs more projects built specifically for rentals.

"We have to keep building our rental product because some folks may not be able to buy," he said.

Wooldridge was among the first incumbent councillors to announce his candidacy while others delayed making their decision public.

To check out all of the candidates, visit KelownaVotes 2022.

Election day is Oct 15th.

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