City Hall liveblog: Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan debate
Live from Vancouver City Hall: Deciding the fate of the DTES.
It might get loud.
8:08pm Tristan Markle, COPE Housing Committee: The redefinition of social housing attached to the DTES LAP includes market housing "that, to be clear, is not affordable to low-income people." The city needs to increase the supply of social housing in the face of our "affordability crisis". He describes the acquisition of three lots over 30 years as "measly". SROs are in sad shape, says Markle, and they need to be renovated without displacing the community. The main mechanism in DTES LAP involves turning them into market units, which he calls a "community-wide renoviction plan".
He points out that "greedy real estate developers" donated over $1 million to Vision Vancouver's last election effort.
8pm Jeff Derksen, SFU Professor: specializes in globalization, urbanism, and culture. In favor of the 60/40 rule and the no-condo zone. Vancouver has to embrace the lives and culture of the working class: we can't have home ownership as the entry point to living in this city. "The idea of social housing as a stigma needs to be turned on its head." Vienna, says Derksen, has embraced social housing, which is built to a high architectural standard.
[I'd settle for any sort of architectural standard in this city. Just saying.]
Derksen urges Council to consider 60/40 as a minimum goal.
7:46pm Mira Malatestinic: LAPP is "confusing", and needs to be absorbed and processed. "The amount of effort the creative community has given to this city is incalculable." The plan does nothing to secure the creative sector, though, despite the design-forward presentation of the plan itself. This is detrimental to Vancouver's standing in the international creative world. "This plan, with all its good intentions, falls short."
7:44pm Quentin Milord: Taking 30 seconds in remembrance of the homeless.
7:41pm Maria Wallstam: "We are here today because of history that has never been resolved." The LAP, she says, is a displacement plan to "erase the so-called eyesore to this city", carried out by the types of people who created it. With no definition for social housing, "there's very little left" to protect low-income residents. This, argues Wallstam argues, was the plan all along.
Wallstam refers to the non-definition of social housing as "Gregor's Paradox".
Robertson is like,
7:38pm Carr: "I didn't take one cheque from developers, just to be clear."
7:31pm Tan: "We have these developers coming here talking about ghettoes... it's the most caring and sharing community" in the city. He's offended by Gellar's characterization of Oppenheimer as a ghetto.
7:30pm Sid Tan: Seconds Diewart's assertion regarding stolen land. "Councilors and the Mayor should take a look at what happened at the DTES Neighbourhood Council" regarding the disenfranchisement of so many contributors.
How is "this sweat equity, this heavy lifting" by the DTES' residents, whose benefits are reaped by "the hipsters", reflected in the LAP? "There's nothing to be recovered by those who gain from the real estate prices. How is that fair?"
"We're talking about wanking! ... Where are the guarantees for low-income affordable housing in this LAP?"
7:15pm Karen Ward, LAPP: "I now have stable housing... and see beyond my day's needs." In the DTES, she feels "not just tolerated, but respected as a person."
She says the 60/40 plan should slow the valuation of real estate in Vancouver.
Reimer: What about safety issues of non-locals, especially regarding drugs? Ward: The drug market "profoundly affects all of Vancouver," and "the War on Drugs has failed" citywide. She says the Granville Strip feels much less safe at night. Nobody grows up wanting to be a DTES drug addict: "every one of us is somebody's baby." The open drug market is only open because of the lack of space; it's still going on elsewhere in Vancouver, too. What you see on the DTES, Ward says, "is the result of poverty and oppression. ... We've run as far as we can... we've been displaced from everywhere else. If people find that hard to bear, they should."
7:09pm Dave Diewert: Why are we talking about a 30-year development plan for what is essentially stolen land? "A profound injustice that lies at the root of it that no amount of city planning can cover over or make right."