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New Housing Coalition Targets Condo Sites

by murray bush - flux photo

Outside the Pantages
Outside the Pantages (author Naomi Klein at left)
Power of Women speakers outside the Pantages
Editing Pantages developer's posters
New Housing Coalition Targets Condo Sites
Serving and protecting condo developers
New Housing Coalition Targets Condo Sites
On the march to 21 Doors
On the march to 21 Doors
New Housing Coalition Targets Condo Sites
21 Doors rep gets "gift basket"
Nobody home - leave a message

DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE -  Under the banner Occupy Condos, the DTES Not For Developers Coalition took its battle for social housing to two sites today. Housing advocates rallied outside the Pantages "Sequel 138" block on East Hastings and marched to the nearby "21 Doors" condos on Carrall Street.

Outside the Pantages site,  developer Marc Williams plastered posters "welcoming" author Naomi Klein - one of the speakers at the rally. Other speakers included representatives from the Aboriginal Front Door, DTES Neighbourhood Council, DTES Power of Women Group and Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users.

The new coalition for social housing also includes the Carnegie Community Action Project, the Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, Streams of Justice and the UBC Social Justice Centre. 

Rally organizer Ivan Drury presented a "gift basket" to a 21 Rooms employee that included leaflets on gentrification, cards asking condo residents to stop complaining and start supporting the Carrall Street Market, info about the missing and murdered women, two roach motels and dead plant. 


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I think the city should look at only granting development licenses to stratas who legally commit to maintaining a 10% low-income suite portion of their buildings, to be subsidized out of strata payments.  No bureaucratic mess sucking up half the budget before it gets to those intended (since our government is just as guilty as the private sector on top-down corpulence).  So the subsidy is directly from the private sector, with very little bureacracy sucking up its efficacy.  No marginalization and segregation of low-income residents - they're integrated into the community and firmly esconsed in safe, affordable housing in safe neighbourhoods with readily available services.  

Each strata would onlybe allowed to build if they sign a 100 year lease, loophole-free and completely binding, for 10% low-income housing in their building.  They don't  like it, they can't  build.  Tough shit, it's OUR land - if tey don't like those terms then they can go buy land in Surrey and turn THAT into the new Gastown.  If they want to develop the DTES, they can prove they're socially responsible enough to wear the title of 'Canadian', and then EARN that distinction.  

Governments can no longer afford to maintain the bureacracy required to regulate everything and move taxpayer money around through the various channels required by legitimized wealth redistribution.  They also suffer from the same bloated top-end fat-cat inequities that we're seeing everywhere else.  And people in the right-wing private sector resent the appearance (and, in many cases, the actuality ) of government waste.  

If they can SEE their money in action, up close and personal, if they SEE poverty in their building and not on some two-second news blip, condescending and removed, maybe their basic humanity will be ignited and they'll stop blaming the victims and come to understand the nature of the support the people who are their NEIGHBOURS need.

Do I think it's at all possible that some city council somewhere will adopt this?  Sure, when I win LottoMax or grow wings.  Why?  Who pays for council's election campaigns?  Who lobbies for better access to cheaper land with fewer regulations?  The only campaigners we even HEAR about in the electorate are already bought and paid for to some degree, so they're lapdogs to the greedy people who really DO want the DTES residents moved out so they can create a Gastown Gaza creeping East on Hastings.

Foreign and domestic investors' land speculation and the way it has co-opted our local and provincial politics has gone far beyond our ability to control or change it.   I fear nothing but harsh measures will change anything in any meaningful way.

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