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Press release issued by Social Housing Here:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 9, 2011
Housing activists paste a banner on the Pantages Theatre: "100% Social Housing Here!"
On the night of Sunday January 9th housing activists pasted a banner reading "100% Social Housing Here!" across the top of the empty Pantages Theatre. The anonymous action was a statement against the Pantages owner's recent application for a condo development on the lot package that covers all the property between the Regent Hotel and the Brandiz Hotel on the 100 block of East Hastings Street.
The activists that carried out the banner action identified the Pantages Theatre as a priority site for social housing development in the Downtown Eastside. They said, "A condo tower at Main and Hastings would release the demons of real estate speculation in the heart of the Downtown Eastside." A condo development at Pantages would be the first major market condo project in the relatively low-income resident protected Downtown Eastside Oppenheimer District (DEOD).
The activists explained, "The residents of the privately owned hotels that surround the Pantages will all be placed at risk of homelessness if Pantages is made into condos."
The owner of the Pantages, Mark Williams, of Worthington Properties, has twice tried to sell this package to City Hall, and the City has twice refused. The anonymous group, referring to themselves only as "Social Housing Here," said they support calls from DTES residents for the City to buy the Pantages property package and build 100% social housing at the site.
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