City Hall liveblog: Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan debate
Live from Vancouver City Hall: Deciding the fate of the DTES.
It might get loud.
Fong tells Carr that the 60/40 goal would be acceptable if there were real social housing involved, and if it also applied to Hastings East. When you put market rate condos in, she warns, "you're planning gentrification."
9:36pm Melissa Fong, U of Toronto doctoral candidate: "I have a lot of faith that the plan was organized in good faith," but "too many negotiations will be made down the road", and that local government will then shift the blame for the plan's failure elsewhere. She echoes Carnegie Community Action Project's (CCAP) recommendations. She's particularly concerned with elder care and housing in Chinatown, "and I want to warn against condominiums", which "almost always snatched up by investors" who are "incredibly unlikely to rent to poor people."
Fong adds, "The redevelopment of Hastings Corridor might as well be a beacon" to the middle-class, "telling them it's safe to move in."
9:30pm Clr. Louie is defending Jang, who isn't here. Godoy responds that the comment was a reflection of the mindset behind a plan "that will displace a vast amount of people." She adds that what Council is moving towards is not the same goal as what the low-income community is moving towards.
9:25pm Sarah Godoy: Speaking in favor of the Low-Income Caucus of the LAP, and the no-codo zone, 60/40 split. Also favors an aboriginal wellness centre. Reminds us of Clr. Jang's comment, "Affordable housing is what people can afford." Such statements come from callousness and contempt, she says; but deeper down, that perspective comes from someone who is relatively privileged and wealthy, non-aboriginal, and has trouble putting him/herself in less well-heeled shoes.
We can demonstrate political will, though, by bucking the trends set by Harper and our own Provincial government.
9:22pm Phoenix Winter would rather not picture us in our underwear, no matter how nervous she is. I try not to take it personally.
"It's difficult to be stable without housing." Winter cites concerns over the 250-square-foot microlofts: "They're so small!" Also, disparity between rich and poor becomes that much more stark.
She also raises "concerns about the social housing definition", and the three-year timeframe before the report back to Council is too long, and $50 million from the City toward social housing isn't enough.
9:20pm Nathan Crompton: He's the first to mention Idle No More today., shouting out to Herb Varley, Victoria Bull, and Tracy Morrison. "Somehow the core of this movement hasn't registered in the halls of power... just hasn't entered into the calculations of the state, or more locally, the calculations of the city-state." He references the close relationship between developers and City Hall as a cycle of wealth-sharing. "There are no protections for existing housing in the existing LAP." He calls the DTES LAP definition of social housing "a cheater's definition". "Judging by the record of this Council, that sliver of social housing just won't get built."
9:08pm Christina Chiu: Supports the 60/40 clause in DEOD, and wants it in other DTES areas as well. Also wants welfare rates to be raised to reflect the cost of living here. Champions an aboriginal health and wellness centre with intergenerational housing, "run by aboriginals but open to all people." This, she says, should be "a quick-start action."
9:05pm Lu Vodnaq: Also supports DTES Low-Income Caucus and Carnegie Centre Action Project. "Secure and safe housing equals less stress and more health." 2/3 of her income goes to rent, she says, near tears. It's even harder for those who are living on less than she is.
9:02pm Wilson Liang: Here to support the DTES Low-Income Caucus and Carnegie Centre Action Project. "Everybody knows how important [housing is]." To Council, he says, "You can make people's lives better on the Downtown Eastside."
9pm Darnell will not stop speaking; Louie is trying to get her to step down. Darnell is speaking louder. She finishes her speech and steps away.
8:55pm Leslie Darnell: Says the LAP fails because the city needs affordable housing "now, not 30 years from now." She currently lives in an SRO, and her service dog lives under her bed. Describes herself as "a political prisoner, living in a nightmare system because there's noplace else to go."
8:50pm Cheryes Kaur-Kaiser rocked up in pink pyjamas, pink Crocs, and clutching a giant plush dog. She's telling an allegorical story, but folks are just staring at the dog. I admit to losing the thread of this speech a bit.
"What I see happening around me... scares me... "I have 18 living consciousnesses in me all the way from Square One.... I can't see your [plan] coming from a living heart."
She adds, "I see [the plan] as a great safety net for the people who don't need it."