100 signatures reached
To: Mayor Gregor Robertson, Hon. Selina Robinson Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
100% Social Housing at 58 West Hastings Now!
Provide enough funds so that, as promised, 100% of the housing at the city-owned site on 58 W Hastings can be rented to people who can only afford welfare and basic pension rate rents ($375-$438/month)
Why is this important?
Downtown Eastside residents have struggled for over a decade to get the site at 58 W. Hastings for social housing for low-income community members. Led by Indigenous women community organizers, residents and supporters have marched through the streets, organized two tent cities including the 2010 Olympic tent city and 2016 tent city, guided tours with BC's new NDP Minister of Housing and Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, held countless public meetings, demonstrations, and more.
About 1,200 homeless people and 3,000 SRO residents live in the Downtown Eastside with no decent housing available for them at rents they can afford. Homeless people have about half the life expectancy of other people in society. Indigenous people, women and children fleeing violence, and other marginalized communities are more likely to experience homelessness. SRO living, where residents share washrooms with everyone on their floor, is not adequate: residents do not have private kitchens, have numerous rodents and bugs, and are often subject to abusive management. SRO residents and homeless people need decent, dignified social housing they can afford. Yet the Mayor and City of Vancouver are planning to reduce the amount of social housing from the promise 100% down to 30%. The plan to build over 200 units of housing in the DTES, with only 70 of them planned to be at welfare/pension rate, is a waste of good housing and further contributes to the gentrification of the DTES. A “social mix” building which includes expensive rentals will exacerbate market pressures on the neighbourhood, create higher rents for SRO residents, and generate the displacement of even more low income people from the DTES.
On August 2, 2016, Mayor Gregor Robertson signed a commitment to build 100% welfare and pension rate, community-controlled social housing at 58 W Hastings. Since then, the city has reneged on its promise. Instead of a project that would provide over 300 units to low-income people, the city is moving along with a project that could provide as few as 70 units at a time with record high homelessness.
Read more about the Our Homes Can’t Wait Coalition and our community vision for housing on 58 W Hastings here: www.carnegieaction.org/ourhomescantwait/