Our campaign has often been accused of being against supportive housing for Commercial and Venables. We are not, as we have written before. We are against the condo tower. We believe the issue of supportive housing can and should be separated from for-profit development at Commercial and Venables. We believe that alternatives to for-profit private development exist.
Image credit: Illustration by Lewis N. Villegas 2015
For example, the image here is a rendering of a four-storey building on the parking lot at Commercial Diversion, just north of Venables. This is a potential alternative to the tower. The building in the rendering contains enough room for 30 studio units of supportive housing as well as administration and program space for staff and service users.
The parking lot is public land, owned by the City of Vancouver. The City of Vancouver could make this rendering or another four-storey non-profit building possible by giving the parking lot for a nominal fee to a non-profit housing agency, such as the Kettle. This would reduce the overall cost of the project, making self-financing with mortgages and donations possible. Better still, such a gift by the City of Vancouver might put pressure on the Provincial and Federal governments to fund construction. And, it would prevent 12, 10 and 8-storeys of gentrifying condos from being built at enormous profit to the developer, which is, of course, the real reason a condo tower is “necessary.”
If you think our city government should play a bigger role in stewarding this project, such as by selling public land at a nominal fee to a non-profit housing and service provider, write them to let them know and CC us.
If you are also angry that our health and social service systems are increasingly privatized, write your MLA and MP.
Or, send letters to the editor of our local newspapers on any of these issues.
And, if you have other ideas for low-rise (under five-storey) alternatives for the site that provide the needed supportive housing and services, please let us know. We’d love to get community feedback on this idea and hear yours. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org