Over three podcasts, we revisit the year’s critical urban discussions on topics and ideas ranging from transportation along Vancouver’s Broadway corridor, the degradation of work in postindustrial urban economies, gentrification in Vancouver’s Chinatown, feminist urban futures and social movements, the making of Stanley Park, arts and cultural spaces, and much more.
Part III (featuring Ellen Woodsworth)
What are local solutions to jointly addressing affordable housing, homelessness, and health? What are the gender dimensions to these issues? We explore these issues in a Vancouver context with four speakers who bring considerable experience and insight into providing safe, adequate, affordable, and gender-inclusive housing in the city.
- Janice Abbott, CEO of Atira Women’s Resource Society and Atira Property Management Inc.
- Janet Kreda, Manager of the Homelessness Secretariat, Metro Vancouver
- Margot Young, Associate Professor of Law at UBC and Co-Principal Investigator of the Housing Justice Project
- Jean Swanson, anti-poverty and anti-gentrification activist, Carnegie Community Action Project
- Christine O’Fallon, homelessness researcher, Women Transforming Cities board member, and discussion facilitator
This discussion was recorded at the Women Transforming Cities National Conference held on May 30, 2013. The panel was called On the Streets Where We Live: Housing Rights and City-based Solutions for Women and Girls.
Social mix is a euphemism for destroying low-income communities. This is a community that fought for – and won – the only safe injection site in North America. This is a community that had to occupy a Police Board meeting in order to get the Police Board to put out the same reward for the missing women that it put out for garage robberies on the Westside. This is a community that had to fight for seven years to get a community centre like other people have. This is a community that had to camp out on a beach for a whole summer in order to get a waterfront park like other communities have. This community has a history of fighting for human rights, and the City destroys that by condo-fying the whole [neighbourhood] and displacing low income people – that will be destroying one of the most valuable assets it has.
–Jean Swanson, Carnegie Community Action Project
Vancouver’s Chinatown is undergoing increasingly rapid gentrification. The Carnegie Community Action Project’s Jean Swanson (author, Poorbashing: The Politics of Exclusion) discusses why a significant influx of condominiums and high-end retail are threatening to displace the neighbourhood’s low-income residents – and why the city is approving these major developments before the completion of the Downtown Eastside local area plan. You can check out a past podcast, From Poor to Yuppie: Artists, Boutiques, and Neighbourhood Change, if you are interested in hearing more about gentrification and social dislocation in the Downtown Eastside.
On the second half of the program, we hear why the independently-owned Festival Cinemas has been sold to Cineplex. We talk with co-owner Leonard Schein about why he is calling it quits, the challenge to operate cinemas independently, and what he believes the City and province should do to help arts and culture thrive/survive in Vancouver.
In the first part of the program, I speak with anti-poverty activist (Carnegie Community Action Project and Raise the Rates), former COPE mayoral candidate, and author (Poor Bashing: The Politics of Exclusion) Jean Swanson. We discuss, among other things, an upcoming event, The Cost of Poverty.
In the second half, we hear highlights from the June 16th panel discussion on The Future of Social Housing: From Little Mountain to Heather Place, organized by the Vancouver Renters’ Union, featuring Barry Growe (Community Advocates for Little Mountain), Maria Wallstam (Vancouver Renters’ Union), Elvin Wyly (Professor, UBC Geography), and Richard Marquez (former San Francisco community activist). The entire panel discussion will be made available soon.
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