City Hall liveblog: Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan debate
Live from Vancouver City Hall: Deciding the fate of the DTES.
It might get loud.
8:47pm Lavender: "The community is not just based on material conditions." That will be lost if the residents are pushed out by new development. "The plan doesn't do enough and the results will show it."
8:45pm Harold Lavender: "I think we're dealing with a plan that doesn't really meet what's needed... If people are displaced, where are they gonna go? .... Let's be clear about this, it's just gonna get worse... You have a plan that's pretty damned useless in terms of stopping renovictions."
8:41pm Herman: "The rental units will be fairly lucrative."
8:35pm Tamara Herman, Carnegie Community Action Project: Marginalized citizens don't care about their 'hood any less than richer residents. Low-income people's interests conflict with those of developers and property-owners. Property values have risen 300% in the last 12 years on the DTES, so relying on the market will only lead to displacement. Pricing people out of the DTES won't eliminate the problems faced by those people, she says. the low-income majority in todays DTES "would be completely obliterated" under the LAP. Even the 60/40 is only a stopgap, buying time for those lobbying for real social housing.
8:29pm Anderson: "Displacement makes sick people sicker." She says, "If I were a Councilmember, I would be ashamed." She says that it should be mandatory for Councilors to take the Welfare Challenge and try to live on $610 per month. She also supports an aboriginal healing centre, "and not [as] a tourist attraction."
8:27pm Nadine Anderson: "I'm grateful to be in social housing... I have terrible, terrible fear of being displaced... because you're building this playground of sorts for people with [six-figure incomes]."
These, she says, are "Third World conditions that people are living in. And this is Canada? I don't get it." Waiting 30 years to meet affordable-housing goals is ridiculous, she says. "The City is causing homelessness."
8:22pm Stephen Gray, First United Church: "In my work, I've come to understand low-income, we're talking about single individuals with incomes of under $17k a year." However, market forces will push these people out according to the current LAP. Shifting the definitions of "social housing" and "low income" will do nothing to help real-life low-income people who need real-life social housing. Quite the opposite, it would mean "significant displacement."
8:20: Garth Mullins, former DTES SRO resident now living in Grandview-Woodland: "I've seen the whole face of it change... due to high-end condos." However, the loose definition of social housing "completely undermines the effort" put into the DEOD section of the plan. Margaret Thatcher redefined poverty in terms of calories rather than income: "Don't follow that example," urges Mullins.
Will the DTES be a museum of poverty surrounded by wealth? "Market forces have failed to deliver the social goods in most cases," he warns: "Relying on the largesse of property developers is a precarious way to do business."
8:17pm [This whole doubling of the population in 30 years... what will all these notional newcomers be doing here? Our big industry is real estate.]
8:15pm Pete Fry, Chair of Strathcona Residents' Association: "The devil is in the details." He points out problems with the LAPP itself. "Unacceptable" to push a 500+-page, 30-year plan with only two weeks' review.
Also, the SRA opposes the built-form aspect of the LAP: there's no compelling reason for these larger buildings, argues Fry. The no-condo zone is a good thing, but comes at the expense of overdevelopment in areas around DEOD.
The plan also fails to address safe access to the parkland adjacent to Prior Street. Vague policy statements and semi-annual meetings won't cut it, says Fry. That "We take care of each other" mural speaks to Strathcona's ethos, says Fry.
Fry cites the "rental real estate renaissance" in Vancouver, saying that that 60/40 won't deliver the affordable housing that the plan promises. He favors low- to mid-rise densification, which "would put a damper" on real-estate speculation.