Stop Sequel 138 – Pantages Condos – CCAP letter to city council

Subject: Sequel 138 development

Mayor and Council, Brenda, Kevin and David,

As you know, the Carnegie Community Action Project is terrified that the Sequel 138 project and its 79 condos will be the thin edge of the condo wedge that destroys the low income community in our precious Downtown Eastside Oppenheimer Area.

The reasons for our terror include:
• the project will make it extremely unlikely that the Downtown Eastside Housing Plan can be implemented by encouraging condos with only 10% welfare rate housing in the DEOD. On page 58, the Housing Plan says it is “unlikely that 1 for 1 replacement of the existing 2000 SRO units will be possible in the DEOD” if market development becomes attractive there;
• the project will have a gentrifying impact on hotels housing hundreds of low income people in the 100 block, pushing up rents and forcing people to move out perhaps to the street or to double up in unhealthy spaces;
• the project will further gentrify the neighbourhood by linking to upscale business in Chinatown with its internal passageway of upscale boutiques and stores;
• there is broad consensus in the DTES community that Sequel 138, once completed, will result in displacement and exclusion for low-income residents living nearby, and threaten the viability of businesses and services that support them. To date, over 2000 individuals and 45 organizations have signed a community resolution calling on Marc Williams to sell the property to the City for 100% community controlled social housing and amenity space.

The negative impacts of Sequel 138 on the DTES low-income community must not be ignored. The Development Permit process focuses entirely on technical and legal matters, and eliminates from consideration the social implications of this project. The violence of displacement and the increase in human suffering that will spread throughout the neighbourhood as a result of this development can only be halted by stopping the project immediately.

We are asking you not to grant Sequel 138 a development permit.

Sincerely Yours,
Jean Swanson

CCAP Coordinator