Development tsunami could squeeze more into homelessness

Development tsunami could squeeze more into homelessness. Carnegie Action asks for urgent meeting with City Councillors

The Carnegie Action Project (CCAP) has asked for an urgent meeting with City Councillors.”We need to insulate the Downtown Eastside from the eco density plan,” said CCAP’s Wendy Pedersen.”The city’s own numbers show that even without greater density, condo development is almost tripling social housing and is beginning to overwhelm the low income neighbourhood and destroy our community.”The city’s Housing Centre says 557 social housing units and 1597 market units will be built in the DTES between 2005 and 2010.Only 111 of the market units are rental and the rest condos.

In addition, the city is now looking at 50 sites in the neighbourhood that could potentially accommodate condo towers.”If low income residents are pushed out of the neighbourhood,” said Pedersen, “they have to go somewhere. They tell us that if they lose their housing in the DTES they will go to alleys, Broadway and Commercial, jail, Broadway and Fraser, East Van, West Van., shelters, Surrey, New West and Burnaby. Some say they will commit suicide or die. Many say they will move to the streets.”

“Insulating the DTES from ecodensity is only the first step,” said Pedersen.”We also need to put the brakes on condo development which is taking up land needed for social housing and driving up land prices.”Already condo development in the community is almost three times what the city’s DTES Housing Plan predicted in 2005, and poor bashing of local residents by condo owners has started up again with the proposal for social housing at 1005 Station Street.”

CCAP’s letter to council members is attached.

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Jean Swanson 604 729-2380