“affordable” spaces starting at $600,000…

Subject: Condo Development in the DTES

Attention :Alison Higginson, Project Facilitator, Development Services.

“”A growth process that benefits only the wealthiest minority and maintains or even increases the disparities between and within countries is not development. It is exploitation.”” (The Cocoyoc Declaration-1974)

Dear Ms Higginson,

I write to you in support of the opposition of the community of the DTES to the explosion of condo development in their community. The impact of the exploitation of so much of the land in the name of development is destructive to the community. It is pretty ironical to watch CONCORD take part in the rat race given that they got out of building the long promised social housing in Yaletown.

I consider myself lucky to live in a co-op in South False Creek where a former city governance had the wisdom to build according to precepts set out by Barbara Ward at Habitat 76 (which I attended) and later Jane Jacobs, for an ideal sustainable community. Here we have a blend of co-ops, rentals, support housing and strata condos. I can’t for the life of me understand why this type of development has not been maintained throughout the city.

I am a former employee of the city of Vancouver and have worked in the DTES and continue to volunteer there. I am aware of the fact that the residents of the DTES are a strong and vibrant community who are justified in fighting tooth and nail to avoid the “exploitation” in the name of development, which is so rampant and so despicable when its at the cost of the neediest in our city.

What an irony that what was known as the poorest postal code in Canada is now being used as a magnet to attract gentrification!

I urge you and all other decision makers to reject a viewpoint that sees this type of development which by COCOYOC standards can be labeled as exploitation does not shame us. Future generations will wonder why in our times Vancouver became a city with no homes available except for millionaires. I am not the only person whose stomach clenches passing those signs at the end of False Creek asking us to rush and buy the last few “affordable'” spaces available from $600.000 to $6MIL…not on an average city workers wages for sure!

Thank You
Mary Ann Cantillon