January 17, 2011
Mayor Gregor Robertson and City Councillors, City of Vancouver,
453 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver

Dear Mayor Robertson and Councillors:
Re: January 20, 2011 Council Meeting on the Historic Area Height Review Update.

I am writing on behalf of the Teaching Support Staff Union, which represents Sessional Instructors, Teaching Assistants, and Tutor Markers at Simon Fraser University, a university which has recently become more involved in the Downtown East Side neighbourhood.

We are concerned by the recommendation before Council to change the allowable heights in the ‘Historic Area’, which includes much of the Downtown Eastside. The effect of this will be to increase permitted heights on several sites. We are concerned that this recommendation will directly lead to further condo development, which are directly responsible for the reduction of affordable housing in the surrounding area, particularly that of the residential hotels.

We as the TSSU Social Justice committee are deeply concerned by the systematic displacement of the working class and lower income residents of the downtown eastside. Any changes to planning in the Downtown Eastside should be led by, and done in full consultation with the residents of the downtown East Side.

Yours sincerely,

Myka Tucker-Abramson
On behalf of the Teaching Support Staff Union