“The Bird Sanctuary” is the name tenants have for the third floor room of the Clifton Hotel where an unsealed window opens the way to roosting pigeons.
This is just one of the many maintenance issues left unchecked at the Granville Street building.
Now, all forty tenants of the Clifton hotel have received eviction notices from the landlord, requesting vacant possession of the units for renovations. The tenants are fighting the notice with a joint dispute resolution application to the Residential Tenancy Branch.
Chelsea Inn under threat
Residents of the Chelsea Inn, a Single Room Occupancy (SRO) in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) staged a demonstration outside of the building to generate awareness that Steven Lippman had been in contact with the owner. Lippman, who is the founder of Living Balance, has gained a reputation for buying up buildings in the DTES and evicting tenants. Lippman publicly denied interest and the owner, Yahya Nickpour, now claims to have stepped away from the decision to sell. However, this potential threat to the hotel is part of a larger trend of renovictions in the neighbourhood, which has resulted in an overall decrease in affordability, as documented by the Carnegie Community Action Project’s annual Hotel report.
$25,000 lunch saga continues
This week the provincial legislature debated whether to place limits on campaign contributions and spending in Vancouver civic elections, but it looks like it’s not going to happen this election cycle. In 2011, both Vision Vancouver and the NPA raised over $1million each from the real estate industry. No wonder there’s no action on real affordable housing.
Meanwhile, both of those parties are aggressively courting real estate interests. Last month, realtor Bob Rennie organized a $25,000 lunch for developers to meet with Vision. The NPA has scheduled a gala hoping to get up to $50,000 for dinner, but time will tell whether all the developers have joined Bob Rennie, Peter Wall, and Ian Gillespie in leaving the NPA for Vision.
Photos: DM GILLIS
As summer sets in, city staff are already making preparations for the coming fall. For the Downtown Eastside this means that while their Local Area Plan will not be formally approved until November, the foundation of the plan is already being put into place. Once implemented, the plan will have wide-ranging effects on the DTES and will determine the future of the neighborhood.
For the past two weeks, activists and community members in the neighbourhood have been building support around a list of demands they would like to see prioritized in the looming Plan. Their organizing efforts culminated on June 11th, when the DTES community delivered an alternative Local Area Plan, signed and supported by 3,000 DTES residents.