On July 19, the City of Vancouver issued an email letter to Vancouver Coastal Health declaring the lease for Thomus Donaghy Overdose Prevention Site (OPS) in Yaletown will not be renewed in 2024 – only three years after it opened. The decision was praised by ABC Councillor Peter Meiszner, who in the weeks prior had adopted the campaign to shut down the OPS as his personal cause célèbre.
With Larwill Place set to close and 700 modular housing units at risk the crisis is set to worsen, argues Jean Swanson. “We are [also] losing a lot of low-income units to fires, to rent increases, to demolitions for redevelopment, to scuzzy landlords who take advantage of vulnerable tenants to just lock them out (like at the Melville Rooms just recently), and because leases on the temporary modulars aren’t being renewed.”
Groups call on the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction for immediate changes to the provision of income assistance
This week marks one year since the tragic fire at the Atira-operated Winters Hotel. The fire, which occurred on April 11, 2022, was entirely preventable, displacing 72 residents and claiming the lives of tenants Mary Ann Garlow and Dennis Guay. On Tuesday, survivors of the fire spoke out, marched in the streets, and held a memorial for those lost.