City Hall liveblog: Downtown Eastside Local Area Plan debate
Live from Vancouver City Hall: Deciding the fate of the DTES.
It might get loud.
5:15pm Victoria Bull: Supports the position of the Low-Income Caucus. Mixed Asian-Lakota, "my dream looks like this: A very unique longhouse. Totem poles would be 30-35 feet tall." Community living space in the middle of the DTES. "In an aboriginal healing center, you could have elders involved with young people" who have ended up in trouble. "Many elders have been on a healing journey for a long time."
5:14pm Joseph Jones: "For every second that I have to speak to you, I wouldn't be surprised if I've spent an hour with the DTES." He says, "It's not hard to forget that Council charged ahead in 2011 with a developer-friendly carve-out" of Chinatown. "The overarching mantra is that Vancouver has to grow-grow-grow!" Shaughnessy, he says, is the only neighbourhood with a declining population. "A prime target," he says, "for that social-mix policy."
5:10pm John Stovell: Regarding the 60/40 split along Hastings Corridor, "I continue to be concerned that the economics are challenged," relying on as-yet-nonexistent government subsidies. "An aspirational attempt" to create socially-minded businesses, but he doesn't really believe that it will bear out in real life: how do you quantify such a business? [Everyone's taking 60/40 at face value.]
5pm Natalie Knight: "The City of Vancouver, developers and liberal political parties seem unable" to deliver on housing people can afford. Tantamount to a war on the poor, the indigenous, the nonwhite. "I don't think this is an exaggeration, actually."
"You don't like what the DTES looks like."
4:55pm Gil Aguilar: "We feel misrepresented by this plan before you." He says, "We are facing a housing crisis in BC, and this needs to be acknowledged." Even taking 60/40 at face value, argues Aguilar, "leaves the rest of the DTES up for grabs" for developers, leaving residents "in the hands of the goodwill of the private sector."
4:50pm Starlight: "We've created all this mess that we're all participating in. It didn't just magically happen." Not everyone has an equal voice, though. For example, vis-a-vis the LAPP, the Low-Income Caucus "suddenly was just consultants."
4:41pm Tami Starlight, Member of LAPP and Low-Income Caucus: "I don't really speak in favour of the LAPP personally... I believe in social justice, it flows in my blood." She says "the terms of reference in the LAPP have been sorely mismanaged" due to the positions of privilege of most of those involved. "I don't feel these theatrics actually [do] anything, that this Council rubber-stamps" development projects. She calls out LAPP and Council for playing games with the term "social housing", and that the result is more unaffordable housing: "I'm here to take up space."
Condos are coming, Starlight says, no matter what she does.
4:30pm Henry Tom: Concerned about economic viability of 60/40 plan; thinks it'll scare off investors. For those just tuning in, the 60/40 split is the notion that developers build 60% social housing and 40% market-rate units in the proposed rental-building-only DEOD in exchange for bonus density. Again, the term "social housing" does not necessarily mean what people seem to think it means.
4:30pm Varley: I used to live in an SRO... I could have three people over before it was standing room only.
4:20pm Herb Varley: "I'll use my big-house voice!" Low-income caucus is made up of members of the LAPP as well as those who were not on the committee. We have to call this what it is, he says: a housing crisis. "Don't gloss over it."
Varley says that social housing should be defined as that affordable to those on fixed income. Low-income caucus supports the 60/40, but doesn't think it goes far enough. "Despite what developers tell you, we don't own anything... We borrow this land from our great-great-great-great-great grandchildren."
[He's the guy who stormed in earlier.]
"We don't want any condos on the DTES until those SROs are replaced." Throws down a 6,000-name petition like he was dropping the mic.
Varley adds, "Nobody should be beaten up by police with no recourse," citing his semi-annual run-ins with the VPD (and their fists).
4:15pm Ball: Are you recommending amendments to the recommendations as they stand?" McMullen: "I think that we're very concerned on whether or not [60/40 housing split] will be successful or not." She says they'll have to make some kind of change if government money doesn't materialize.
4:10pm Anne McMullin, President and CEO, Urban Development Institute: UDI generally supports the DTES plan, "but there are three issues we'd like to raise with Council." Viability of social housing and building heights. UDI wants more height and density.