JANUARY 8TH 2011 DNC RESOLUTION AGAINST MARKET DEVELOPMENT IN THE DTES
There is no benefit in Gentrification! Stop Market Condo Development in the DTES!
The ripple effects of market housing condo developments have been destructive to the low-income community in the Downtown Eastside (DTES); a process we call gentrification.* As the price of real estate has gone up the low-income community has lost affordable housing, shops, and other low-income friendly spaces. While gentrification changes our neighbourhood into an unfamiliar and hostile space for low-income people, police protect the condos and boutiques and City Hall eases regulations and provides incentives to developers to speed further market development. The displacement of low-income people from the DTES is a direct result of market housing condo developments and this displacement is reaching crisis levels.
The Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood Council (DNC) resolves to oppose any new market housing developments in the DTES until nobody is homeless or at risk of homelessness. We oppose any non-profit agency collaboration with real estate developers for any market housing development including so-called "social mix" developments and including the negotiation of "Community Benefits Agreements" for market housing developments in the DTES.
The commitment of the City to ending homelessness** by guaranteeing self-contained affordable social housing*** for all current low-income DTES residents will be demonstrated by purchasing and designating 10 properties in the DTES a year for social housing. Ten sites to be purchased by the 2011 municipal election:
1. Above the new Library site at 720 E Hastings (& Heatley)
2. Buddhist Temple at 301 E. Hastings (& Gore)
3. Police Station at 312 Main St.
4. Empty lot at 58 W. Hastings (across from Army & Navy)
5. Empty lots at 549 and 553 E Cordova (Across from the chicken factory)
6. Pantages Theatre & storefronts at 114 E. Hastings (B/w the Brandiz & Regent Hotels)
7. Empty lot at 148 E Cordova (across from Harbour Light)
8. The empty Stadium Hotel at 340 Cambie St
9. Empty apartment building at 334 Carrall (across from Pigeon Park)
10. Empty lot at 780 Main (just north of the viaduct)
* "Gentrification": A territorial invasion, rich people move into a working-class neighbourhood and drive up rents and real estate prices. Fancy restaurants and boutiques replace shops and services that used to serve low-income people. Poor and working class people are displaced from gentrified neighbourhoods because the spaces become unaffordable as well as culturally alienating for low-income people.
** "Homelessness": Mayor Gregor Robertson's promised in 2008 to "bring out brightest minds together and end homelessness in Vancouver." Two years later this promise has been watered down into vague statements of ending "street homelessness." Vancouver City's early-1990s definition of homelessness included Residential Hotel dwellers as "transitionally" homeless and those who pay more than 30% of their incomes to housing costs as "at risk" of homelessness.
*** "Self-contained affordable social housing": Affordable apartments protected against eviction and rent increase. Social housing means that apartments are held socially (by the state) rather than privately in order to protect tenants against eviction and that a single unit is at least 400 square feet. Self-contained means that each unit has its own private cooking and bathroom facilities. Affordable means that tenants pay no more than 30% of their income to rent.