Fight for 58 and the soul of the DTES: Community Townhall on December 7th

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 6, 2018

 

Fight for 58 and the soul of the DTES:

Community Townhall on December 7th

 

Vancouver, BC, Unceded Coast Salish Territories – On Friday December 7th, community residents and housing activists will reaffirm their community vision for 100% shelter rate and pension rate housing at 58 West Hastings in the Downtown Eastside.

 

Today, there are over 2,100 homeless individuals in Vancouver. Homelessness and housing unaffordability are two of the fastest growing issues in Vancouver. There is no question that the biggest impacts of these crises are felt in the Downtown Eastside.

 

On November 15, Vancouver City Council approved a motion to ask city staff to identify potential sources of funding in order to build 100% welfare and pension rate housing at 58 West Hastings. At present the project has been promised 50% welfare and pension rate housing. The Downtown Eastside community cannot stress more the necessity of this promise being upheld. Anything less than 100% welfare and pension rate housing at 58 will perpetuate the cycle of rising rents, gentrification, displacement, and the early death of low income people.

 

In 2018, the World Health Agency released its “Housing and Health Guidelines” and stated, “The quality of housing has major implications for people’s health…The scientific evidence on the many links between housing and health has grown substantially in recent decades.”

 

The Canadian Public Health Association has estimated that the investment required to limit homelessness in Canada over a period of 10 years would total $4 billion, while the estimated return on investment could exceed $8 billion per year nationally through reduced spending on emergency accommodations, health care, social services, and corrections.

 

If City Council has taken on the duty to uphold housing as a human right, they must begin in the Downtown Eastside. Single room occupancy hotels are seen as the last resort for those in desperate need of housing affordability, yet 23 of the remaining hotels in the DTES currently rent at close to $1,000 per month. Low-income people are being evicted and displaced by rising rents, renovictions, and demolitions of existing affordable housing. It’s time to invest in housing and health for our most vulnerable citizens.

 

WHAT:                         Community Townhall for 58 West Hastings

WHERE:                       Carnegie Theatre, 401 Main Street

WHEN:                         Friday December 7, 2:00-3:30 pm

 

The venue is fully accessible. Chinese language translation will be provided. Refreshments provided.

 

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About Our Homes Can’t Wait Coalition

Our Homes Can’t Wait is a coalition of groups that want more social housing in the Downtown Eastside. The Our Homes Can’t Wait campaign and the community vision for 58 W Hastings has so far been endorsed by Carnegie Community Action Project, Carnegie Community Centre Association, Gallery Gachet, Alliance Against Displacement, Carnegie African Descent Group, Vancouver IWW, COSCO Council of Senior Citizens’ Organizations of B.C., Union Gospel Mission, Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, WAHRS – Western Aboriginal Harm Reduction Society, First United – Vancouver Downtown Eastside, Pivot Legal Society, Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, Downtown Eastside Neighbourhood House, Chinatown Concern Group 唐人街關注組, Chinatown Action Group 華埠行動小組, Aboriginal Front Door, and Downtown Eastside SRO Collaborative

 

Our mailing address is:

Our Homes Can’t Wait

401 Main Street, Unceded Coast Salish Territory

Vancouver, BC V6A 2T7

Canada