Vancouver's Leader in Transition toward Strong, Resilient, Complete Communities
Time: March 25, 2014 at 12pm to April 16, 2014 at 12am
Location: Council Chamber Third Floor, City Hall
City/Town: Vancouver, B.C. Canada
Event Neighbourhood and Type: community, engagament
Organized By: Karen Elaine Gilchrist
Latest Activity: Apr 11, 2014
On April 15th, Vancouver city councillors will be voting on the redevelopment of Heather Place, 86 units of truly affordable family housing in central Vancouver. Many tenants of Heather Place are at risk of losing their housing forever – I, Karen Gilchrist, am currently one of those tenants.
Myself, a single mother of Nadia Kim (Age 8) and a Social Worker at the Burnaby Hospital would not be where I am today without the support of our Heather Place Community & this affordable housing provided by Heather Place. Today 46 % of single mothers in BC live below the poverty line. We need more affordable housing to support more families raising their children out of the current poverty cycle.
Today’s Heather Place has a total of 86 units of truly affordable family housing. 22 units are subsidize and geared to income for low-income people; the rest of the units are affordable rental at $900 for a one-bedroom and $1,100 for a two-bedroom apartment. These rates are expected to increase by 70% in the new Heather Place redevelopment, starting $1,800 for a two-bedroom apartment. These rates are just not affordable.
After years of pressure from tenants, Vancouver councillors and the Metro Vancouver Housing Corporation have made a promise of conditional financial support for the displaced tenants of Heather Place. But these promises are both vague and full of loopholes. Instead of attaching affordability to the unit, the city is offering a flawed model of uncertain, conditional financial support. Because of its numerous loopholes, the current plan makes it so that a one-for-one replacement of affordable housing is impossible.
This loss of affordable housing is a serious concern for myself and my daughter. BC has the highest child poverty rate in Canada, nine years running. In order to escape from the cycle of poverty and disadvantage, BC’s children need truly affordable housing. Rent is the largest expenditure of a family household's budget and truly affordable rent can make the difference in a child’s life.
Please join us to send a strong message to council that affordable housing matters.
Please call to be added to the speakers list. You will be allowed to speak for five minutes directly to city council. 604-829-4238 or email email@example.com or call Laura Kazakoff, Meeting Coordinator, at 604.871.6353 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Please request your number in line to speak when you sign up.
When you speak to council, please tell them that this is an opportunity to decrease the child poverty in BC by increasing the truly affordable housing stock in Vancouver. The only way to do that at Heather Place would be to replace all 86 units of truly affordable rental units, not just 26 units they state they will replace in their proposal. Vancouverites can and should take the opportunity to request that Metro Vancouver and the City of Vancouver either renovate the existing affordable units at Heather Place, or build the full 230 units of housing proposed for the Heather Place site as truly affordable rental.
Karen Gilchrist and the Save Heather Place campaign