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DOWNTOWN EASTSIDE - Community members and activists painted a picture of
a better world today in the vacant lot slated for condos at 58 West Hastings. The City of Vancouver is backing a gentrifying mix of market housing with only a token number of units for low-income people.
The painted messages spelled out unified support for resistance to community members being "policed out, priced out or pushed out of the DTES."
Event organizers Our Homes Can't Wait have been endorsed by community groups representing more than 9,000 people. Their campaign focuses on demanding 10 sites for 100% welfare, pension rate social housing in the Downtown Eastside, improving and saving SRO hotels and a rent freeze. The groups have also endorsed a community vision for development at 58 West Hastings.
Our Homes Can't Wait says the community vision is for 100% social housing at welfare rate, with housing for Indigenous, Chinese, homeless and SRO residents, and at least 50% of units for women and some units for people with disabilities.
"The building would be run by and accountable to residents similar to the way co-ops are run, with residents covered by the Residential Tenancy Act and residents trained and paid to provide maintenance; Bottom floor to be free meeting space for community, cultural supports and peer services and amenities like garden on top, balconies and fitness room. Units should be a minimum of 500 sq ft in size."
The campaign has been endorsed by the Carnegie Community Centre Association, Carnegie Community Action Project, Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, First United Church, Drug Users' Resource Centre, Pivot Legal, DTES Women's Centre, DTES Neighbourhood House, Chinatown Action Group and Aboriginal Front Door.
For more information visit CCAP.