Today the pending eviction of the remaining four households at Little Mountain Housing was officially cancelled. As stated in a press release signed jointly by BC Housing, the City of Vancouver and Holborn Properties, 50 of the planned 234 units of social housing will now be built on the site prior to any rezoning process. This change of plans, after a protracted fight with tenants and organizers, includes the guarantee that the tenants currently living in the four remaining households will be allowed to stay in their current units and move directly into the new housing when it is built.
This announcement closely reflects the tenants’ demands in a campaign that has been escalating since the serving of two-month eviction notices on July 27th, 2012. Tenants, joined by the Vancouver Renters’ Union, neighbors, filmmaker David Vaisbord, as well as members of COPE (Coalition of Progressive Electors), joined together to carry forward the struggle initially waged by CALM in 2009.
Tactics by tenants and organizers in recent months have included a planned rally at the eviction hearing on October 29th, a petition with hundreds of signatures, presentations to city council, a press rally in September, and a September-October film tour hosted by the Renters’ Union with David Vaisbord. More important than these events, however, has been the basic refusal of the tenants to leave their housing.