Proposed MOTION on Downtown Eastside redevelopment

Urgent Request – Please endorse by June 13, 2008

Thank you to those of you who provided the amazing flood of letters calling for social housing to be built at the 58 West Hastings Concord Pacific development site, calling for a moratorium on condo development until plans to secure existing and new low-income housing are in place. Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) hand delivered 95 email letters and 130 hand written letters to Vancouver City Council on your behalf. (COV = City of Vancouver)

Here is the next step.

Please approach people/organizations you know asking them to publicly endorse and write letters of support for our Motion to City Council (Motion pasted below). Here are reminders of groups to approach:

  • organizations
  • associations
  • spiritual groups
  • housing co-operatives
  • businesses
  • baseball teams
  • other groups
  • Note: support from those outside of the DTES/Vancouver is relevant and important.

It can come from provincial, national or international individuals or groups. Please contact everyone – anywhere, who you think might support us.

Endorsements

Let us know if we can publicly add your name or your group’s name to the motion.

E-mail wpedersen@look.ca to add your/your group’s name.

The State of Affairs Now:

Condos are currently being built at a rate of 3 condos to every 1 unit of social housing in the Downtown Eastside (DTES). This is a disaster. Condos take up space that could be used to replace the 4000 residential hotel rooms that are now the last stop before homelessness for thousands of people and for room to build some housing for homeless and families. The condos also contribute to the real estate speculation which is increasing land prices, thereby making social housing less affordable. To make matters worse, unless the condos are stopped current low-income residents will be pushed out – often into the streets.

If we can first get the housing we need, plus some tools to manage this change, then perhaps the neighbourhood could tolerate a few more condos.

We believe there is some support for this or a version of this among City of Vancouver planning staff. There seems to be some support from the sector of progressive developers. CCAP met with NPA Councilor Peter Ladner and he will likely put something forward in this regard by June 16 that will appear on the City of Vancouver council meeting website. The motion will likely be discussed at the June 24 council meeting. If the motion or a version of it is seconded at this meeting, the public will likely be invited to come and speak to it on June 26. Stay tuned for more updates on the progress of our request.

Thanks to all the groups who have endorsed. They are listed at the bottom of this email.

Most Sincerely – Wendy of CCAP

CCAP Condo Moratorium Motion to City of Vancouver Council – 22nd May 2008

Proposed MOTION on Downtown Eastside redevelopment To Vancouver Mayor and City Council Prepared by the Carnegie Community Action Project (Phone 604 / 839-0379)

WHEREAS the Downtown Eastside is a vital and historic low income community with intelligent, creative, caring, volunteering residents who consider the area the their home; and

WHEREAS there are hundreds of sites throughout the DTES that are ready for redevelopment; and

WHEREAS developers, now short of development opportunities in other parts of the central city, are seeking sites; and

WHEREAS developers have been encouraged by the City to “go east” and are hungrily speculating across the DTES; and

WHEREAS there is no vision or mechanism to guide inevitable change and development; and

WHEREAS current zoning regulations permit redevelopment to a certain height and density to occur with minimal opportunity for review either by staff or by the community; and

WHEREAS unlimited condo development in the DTES could displace up to 4000 low income hotel residents from the area because it will take up land that could be used for social housing and create pressure to convert or raise rents in SROs; and

WHEREAS the City’s DTES Housing Plan calls for market and social housing to “proceed together for the DTES to be sustainable;”

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that City Council immediately (by June 21, 2008 at the latest) place a one year moratorium on market housing development in the DTES to give the current community a chance to prepare a vision for the future of this historic and vital low income community, the soul of Vancouver, and to give the City time to prepare mechanisms to control development so the current low income community will not be driven out by market forces.

Ahavat Olam Synagogue
Battered Women’s Support Services
BC Coalition of People with Disabilities
BC Persons with AIDS Society [BCPWA]
BC Women’s Housing Coalition
Canadians for Reconciliation
Carnegie Community Action Project [CCAP]
Carnegie Community Centre Association
Citywide Housing Coalition [CHC]
Civil Society Development Project
Community Advocates for Little Mountain [CALM]
Desmedia
Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House [DTES NH]
Downtown Eastside Residents Association [DERA]
Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre [DEWC] Power of Women
Eastside Story – Co-op Radio 102.7 FM
Fairview Baptist Church
Faith Communities Called to Solidarity with the Poor
Gallery Gachet Society
Grandview Woodlands Area Council
Impact on Communities Coalition [IOCC]
Jenny Kwan MLA
Libby Davies MP
Life Is Not Enough Society [LINES]
Lord Strathcona Elementary School
Low Income Land Use and Housing Coalition [LILAHC]
Lutheran Urban Missions Society [LUMS]
Magdalene Recovery Society
PIVOT Legal Society
Positive Women’s Network
Prostitution Alternatives Counseling & Education [PACE] Staff
Raise the Rates
Social Justice Committee of the Unitarian Church of Vancouver
South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy
St. James’ Social Gospel Coordinating Group, St. James’ Anglican Church
Streams of Justice
Tenth Avenue Church
United Native Nations [UNN]
University of British Columbia [UBC] School of Social Work
Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users [VANDU]
Vancouver Catholic Worker
Vancouver-Langara British Columbia New Democratic Party
Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society [WAHRS]
YouthCO AIDS Society
614 Vancouver, Salvation Army