Over the last decade, the BC government has shifted to a model of “supportive” housing for low-income communities in Vancouver and across the province. There is a dissonance however between the stated intentions of support staff and the conditions that supportive housing reinforce for a large number of residents (or “clients” as they are often called).
What lies ahead for 58 and the people of the Downtown Eastside? If history has been any lesson, the vision of 58 West Hastings was born and fought for in the streets. Its future cannot be won otherwise.
It’s the end of ‘’Gregor’s decade.’’ Are we standing at the possible threshold of a new era in […]
For years, an empty lot at 58 West Hastings has been at the centre of a fight for social housing in the Downtown Eastside (DTES). The present article covers the years from 2016 to 2018, detailing the City’s efforts to defer and ultimately dismantle the promise of 100% welfare- and pension-rate housing at 58 West Hastings.
The fight for 58 West Hastings escalates in historic May Day action: “We, the poor and the homeless of the Downtown Eastside will not sit idly as our elected officials deprive us of the housing we need.”
“Every day that the Liberals delay allowing a new government to be formed,” said NDP’s Spencer Chandra Herbert earlier this month, “is a day that more people lose their homes.” With today’s vote of non-confidence, a feeling of optimism is now in the air. But will an NDP-Green government actually address homelessness? Will it fund non-market housing or even minimally alter the rules of the housing market?
In their annual Housing and Homelessness Report Card, the City of Vancouver reports that 1,683 units of new social housing are in development or have been built since 2012. Yet based on research by the authors, under 6% of the new social housing is guaranteed for people on welfare. The vast majority of Vancouver’s “social housing”, therefore, will be unavailable for the 1,847 people reported as homeless in Vancouver this year, the highest number since counts began.