The importance of the Little Mountain story and one filmmaker’s campaign to capture the struggle through a documentary film
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David Vaisbord discusses the importance of the Little Mountain story and his campaign to create a documentary film to showcase the community and residents’ struggle against the BC government.The Little Mountain story centres around Little Mountain residents – many of them seniors – fighting to remain in their apartments in Vancouver’s first social (public) housing development and demanding demolished social housing units be replaced on the site.
Find out more about David’s campaign to produce a full-length documentary – and how you can help.
Miloon Kothari discusses his work as the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing and how this right can be realized in practice
Miloon Kothari is the former UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Adequate Housing, and he spoke at Simon Fraser University–Woodward’s on July 9, 2012.
Mr. Kothari’s talk is titled The Right to Adequate Housing: From Practice to Policy to Practice. He discusses his work as Special Rapporteur, the similar and distinct challenges facing a variety of countries and cities, specifically Vancouver, and how the right to adequate housing can be realized.
Thank you to SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement for permission to broadcast this talk.
Vancouver’s recently approved Downtown Eastside neighbourhood plan has raised concerns over the definition of social housing and the plan’s ability to stop – or even slow – gentrification. Low-income advocates and others expressed frustration that the significant 30-year plan was rushed through City Council.
On the podcast, we hear from low-income advocate Tamara Herman (Carnegie Community Action Project), Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson (courtesy of City Hall Watch), Green Party Councillor Adriane Carr, and urban planning/geography PhD student and researcher Melissa Fong.
Listen 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.
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.
UBC geography professor David Ley and geographer Nicholas Lynch co-authored a recent study, Divisions and Disparities in Lotus Land: Socio-Spatial Income Polarization in Greater Vancouver, 1970-2005. Nicholas Lynch presents the worrisome findings of the study, as we see an increasingly divided Vancouver and a disappearing middle class. He discusses the social geography of polarization across the region, the implications, and possible policy solutions.
We discuss regional planning, education, housing, poverty reduction, and the importance of progressive provincial-municipal policies. In the 2011 Vancouver-Point Grey by-election, Eby came within 600 votes of Christy Clark in the seat previously held by former Premier Gordon Campbell.
David Eby is a lawyer and the former executive director of the BC Civil Liberties Association. He has also worked for Pivot Legal Society and is adjunct professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of British Columbia.
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.
The City talks with Vision Vancouver Councillor Andrea Reimer as we mark one year since 2011 municipal election.
Andrea Reimer was first elected in 2002 as a School Board member with the Green Party, she joined Vision Vancouver and was elected to City Council in 2008. Councillor Reimer was appointed in 2008 as the Chair of the City’s Planning and Environment Committee and Council lead on the Greenest City Action Plan, overseeing Vancouver’s efforts to become the greenest city in the world by 2020. Along with six other Vision councillors and Mayor Gregor Robertson, Andrea Reimer was elected in the 2011 election to council. She is currently Chair of the Standing Committee on Planning, Transportation, and Environment and council liaison for the Greenest City Action Team. She is also a director at Metro Vancouver, and is appointed to the city’s Family Court / Youth Justice Committee, Urban Aboriginal Peoples Advisory Committee, and Women’s Advisory Committee.
The City’s Andy Longhurst sat down with Councillor Reimer in July 2012 to talk at length about a number of issues, including neighbourhood engagement, which has come under fire in recent weeks. We also discuss the controversial Rize condo tower in Mount Pleasant, rental housing, affordability, and questions of how the city should continue to develop.
WEB-ONLY CONTENT | Hear more from Councillor Reimer (from the July 2012 interview) on whether green initiatives sideline social justice issues, and whether the City should be doing more to protect the many older single-family homes which are often demolished in Vancouver’s pricey real estate market.
On green initiatives vs. social justice concerns and the viaducts:
On renovictions, the loss of affordable rental stock, and the demolition of single-family homes: