Tagged: harm reduction

[Podcast] The Politics of Housing the Homeless: Lack of community consultation or NIMBYism?

Screen shot 2014-01-22 at 1.20.11 PMListen and subscribe to the podcast here.

Has it been a lack of neighbourhood consultation with residents or simply a case of the NIMBY syndrome in east Vancouver? Or perhaps a bit of both? Is fear and misinformation framing the conversation about supportive housing?

On the podcast, we discuss at the concerns and politics around the planned 95 units of transitional housing at Mount Pleasant’s former Biltmore Hotel with Stephen Bohus from the Residents Association of Mount Pleasant and area resident Michelle Sturino. How significant are the locational conflicts over low-income housing and harm reduction for Vancouver and the region more generally? And how does this help or harm efforts to build more socially inclusive neighbourhoods and socially just cities?

In 2013, BC Housing, in partnership with the City of Vancouver, leased the former Biltmore Hotel at 395 Kingsway for temporary supportive housing. The hotel is being renovated to provide 95 units for people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness while they wait for permanent housing to become available. The hotel will leased for six years and the supportive units are scheduled to open in early 2014. The planned social housing has generated support, opposition, and concerns among area residents.

The City of Vancouver declined a request for an interview.

[Podcast] From Abbotsford to Portland: Homelessness and Harm Reduction


Listen and subscribe to the podcast here.

On the program, we hear about the homelessness and harm reduction situation in Abbotsford, BC and an alternative transitional housing model in Portland, Oregon.

In 2005, the City of Abbotsford passed a bylaw effectively banning harm reduction services, and in summer of 2013, the City dumped manure on a homeless encampment in an attempt to force them out of the area. Pivot Legal Society’s DJ Larkin speaks about legal challenges against the City of Abbotsford that are currently in the courts. Just before Christmas, a court injunction forced the recently erected encampment in Abbotsford’s Jubilee Park to be dismantled.

Finally, we talk to Lisa Larson about her experience being homeless and her role of CEO of Dignity Village – an alternative housing model for homeless people in Portland, Oregon.

More on the topic: In June 2013, DJ Larkin wrote an article on lessons from Abbotsford and ‘how not to treat homeless people’.