CITYWIDE HOUSING COALITION
Rider Cooey January 2011
“Review” Proposes More DTES Height & Density -- Risks
Further Homelessness, Omits Public Benefits
Coalition opposes approval of Historic Area Height Review: Policy
Implementation and urges Council to first ensure successful completion of
two projects already underway, the Social Impact Study and the Downtown
This two-year-long “Review” was actually a series of proposals for rezoning
options to increase building heights in the Downtown Eastside and
Chinatown. Not surprisingly, the staff
report recommends allowing height increases for at least seven sites, and up to
150 feet, or about 15 storeys.
Future increases are always possible.
Height increases also increase density. We support greater density
everywhere in Vancouver.
current zoning 9,000 more people can already be added in the DTES.
The report includes no description of public benefits to offset height and
density increases. The social changes prompted by such height and density
increases will worsen gentrification, conflict, and the harm already done to
the 70% low-income residents of the community, primarily through rent
increases. Rent increases driven by gentrification doubtless contributed
to the 12% homelessness increase in the last count
Before council approves additional height and density in the DTES, the social,
economic, and environmental effects must be considered. Therefore Council
should not approve
HAHR: Policy Implementation until completion of two
projects that are already underway-- the Social Impact Study and the DTES
Strategy, the goals of which should be to secure the tenure and assets of the
70% low-income community.
In a related matter, Citywide endorses the proposal by the Carnegie Community
Action Project that the City of Vancouver buy (or otherwise acquire) 10 sites
per year for low income, resident-controlled social housing in the Downtown
Eastside before the next municipal election.
Contact Rider Cooey, 604.872.1382