Low-income Land use And Housing Coalition

c/o Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House [DTES NH]
501 East Hastings [@ Jackson] Vancouver BC V6A 1P9
“Nothing about us without us”
motto courtesy of VANDU

Who we are

LILAHC is a coalition of those who live/work in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside [DTES] who affirm that the redevelopment of the DTES must include the voices and reflect the vision of the predominantly low-income DTES community who make up 3/4 of its population. DTES residents were promised a predominantly low-income neighbourhood. Wise land use decisions as well as adequate government funding for housing will together secure the future of low-income people in this neighbourhood.

LILAHC is people of all ancestries, ages and classes, the under[housed] and homeless, those in hotels, social housing and co-ops. LILAHC is DTES residents and service providers, families and individuals.

Downtown Eastside Residents

The DTES constitutes a community of intelligent, caring, creative people with a vision for the future of this neighbourhood. People are family to each other, use needed services and volunteer with organizations which would be crippled without the free labour of low-income DTES residents.

Impact of development

New condo development outnumbers social housing development at a rate of 3 to 1 as of 2010.  As of April 2008, we’ve lost or are about to lose housing in half the privately owned hotels due to their closure, their transformation into student rentals and/or rent increases. DTES condo speculation is taking away land which could be used for social housing and is putting extreme pressure on our low-income rental stock – the residential hotels rooms which are the last stop before homelessness.  2008 is the watershed year for preserving any semblance of affordable housing for current DTES residents. We act now or are forever dispersed from our DTES home.


LILAHC’s process is grassroots and takes its inspiration from the heads and hearts of 1000s of DTES residents, harvesting a resident driven script for the future of the DTES which keeps low-income residents at the centre of redevelopment plans.

What we’re doing

LILAHC surveyed a cross section of 950 DTES low-income residents with our coalition partner the Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP), gathering residents’ ideas for the future of the DTES.  We are organizing a DTES Mapping for community members next and synthesizing this with technical information into a charrette afterwards.

LILAHC addresses developers, City employees, local politicians and private individuals who express an interest in the future of the DTES, to find out how they are including the vision of current DTES low-income residents and to know if they are willing to lend their skill sets to the resident driven planning process.

LILAHC endorses the results of 15 CCAP-led community visioning sessions and questionnaire to 650 residents in the report aptly titled:  “Nothing about us without us.”

Criteria for participating in LILAHC

  • 100% allegiance to the DTES low-income community
  • Confidentiality
  • Commitment to non violence
  • LILAHC is not about us, but about doing the work
  • Ability to devote 2-5 hours a week to LILAHC work

LILAHC Members

Jennifer Allen                 Founder, Jen’s Kitchen at UGM, Resident

Rolf Auer                        Carnegie Association, Resident

Linda Dewar                   ED, Inner-City Women’s Initiatives Society/DAMS

Carolyn Hall                    Family Doctor – Downtown Community Health Clinic (DCHC), Detox, Youth Custody & Sexual Assault Services

Benita Ho                          Project Manager, supportive housing,Former Resident

Matthew Matthew            Director, Carnegie Association (5,000 members),Resident

Liza McDowell                  Mental Health Advocate, Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre  (DEWC)

Karen McNabb                 Mentorship and support worker for parents

Sarah Nunez                    DTES community worker

Tami Omeasoo                Director on leave, Aboriginal Front Door (AFD)

Wendy Pedersen             Community Organizer, Carnegie Community Action Project, Resident

Joyce Rock                        ED, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House (DTES NH), Resident

June Scudeler                  Coordinator, Aboriginal Homeless Steering Committee

Mandla Sibya                   HIV/AIDS Case Manager, Downtown Eastside Youth Activities Society (DEYAS)

Jackie Smith                     ED, The Dug Out

Karen Stancer                  Doctor – Downtown Community Health Clinic (DCHC) & Pine Free Clinic

Jean Swanson                  Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP)

LILAHC acknowledges and honours the fact that our community lies within the Traditional Territory of the Coast Salish people.