Archive for the ‘29th Ave SkyTrain Station’ Category

Station Area Planning History

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A History of Planning in the Nanaimo / 29th Avenue Station Areas

February 2018

 
In November 2017, Vancouver City Council approved Housing Vancouver Strategy (2018-2027) and 3-Year Action Plan (2018-2020). (Find multiple links to report, appendixes, staff presentation, video clip at http://council.vancouver.ca/20171128/regu20171128ag.htm )

According to this document, a major planning program for the Nanaimo and 29th Avenue station areas will begin in 2018. Land around these stations will be rezoned “to create more affordable housing and deliver large increases in rental, social, and ground-oriented market housing.” (p. 10) Appendix B page 7 lists as “Key Strategy 1-B” to “launch” these new station area plans immediately after Council approval of the policy document.

Eye on Norquay sees a need to provide background context for this imminent planning program. Past planning processes for the Nanaimo / 29th Station Areas are described below.


1.  Nanaimo / 29th Avenue Station Areas Plan (1987)

Summary document only online at:
http://guidelines.vancouver.ca/N003.pdf

 
In 1981 the Government of British Columbia announced the selection of the Advanced Light Rapid Transit (ALRT) system for Greater Vancouver. Soon after, the City of Vancouver began to plan for the lands immediately around the four SkyTrain stations proposed for East Vancouver: Broadway, Nanaimo, 29th Avenue, and Joyce. Separate plans were developed for the Broadway and Joyce Station Areas.

A single plan was proposed for the Nanaimo and 29th Avenue Station Areas. No reason is apparent in available city documents for the combining of planning for these two stations into a single program. The life expectancy of a plan is often set at 25—30 years. The provisions of this plan are no longer referenced in City of Vancouver planning documents.

Plan Summary

Properties between Victoria Drive and Rupert Street, and between Kingsway and roughly East 22nd Avenue, are included in this plan. The northern boundary zigzags because the ALRT line runs parallel to Kingsway, which cuts across the street grid.

 

 

Most of the Plan consists of a detailed analysis of 21 potential development sites. The sites were selected because they met at least one of these criteria:

         Vacant city-owned sites
         Sites severely impacted by ALRT
         Sites soned for uses other than residential
         Sites either under-utilized or containing derelict properties

Redevelopment opportunities were to be limited to these 21 sites. (See Appendix A for details of implementation.)

The 21 selected sites are identified by the letters on the map below. Sites that were City-owned in 1987 are Sites A, C (partial), D, E, G (partial), J, K, L, and N (partial), In cases where the City owns only a part of the identified site, no redevelopment is specified to occur until adjoining private land has been purchased and incorporated into the site.

 

 

The Plan recommends multi-family townhouses (described as “medium density”) as the form of development most viable and appropriate for the majority of the identified sites. Unit density is set at 25-40 units per acre and maximum FSR is set at 1.0. The proposed developments are to act as a noise and visual buffer between the SkyTrain alignment and the existing single-family residences to the north and south.

Commercial redevelopment is to be small-scale and serve local needs only. It is not to negatively impact Kingsway, which is to remain the primary commercial area.

Considerable analysis of ALRT impacts is included in the Plan. Unresolved impacts identified in 1987 are primarily related to noise, privacy loss and visual intrusion.

The amenity most desired by the community in 1987 was an indoor swimming pool. However, Council rejected this request on the advice of the Park Board. Staff believed that residents already had sufficient access to swimming pools in nearby neighbourhoods.

In 1987 Vancouver had no shortage of sites for development. The population was expected to grow slowly and the economy was recovering from a recession. Redevelopment of the Nanaimo / 29th Avenue Station Areas was expected to be gradual and low key.


2.  Renfrew-Collingwood Community Vision (2004)

http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/cityplan/Visions/rc/vision.htm

 
CityPlan (1995) was the City’s policy framework to direct future Vancouver city planning, especially in residential neighbourhoods that had not previously experienced detailed planning initiatives. Nine neighbourhoods, including Renfrew-Collingwood, went through extensive visioning processes that were directed by City staff but included substantial community input.

The resulting Renfrew-Collingwood Community Vision looked at locations for future low-rise housing forms (primarily townhouses and 4-storey apartment buldings). The relevant direction for the Nanaimo and 29th Avenue Station Areas reads:

        New housing types should be permitted in existing residential areas around the Nanaimo and
        29th Avenue SkyTrain stations, subject to detailed planning and impact mitigation. (p. 42)

This direction received more than 50% agreement in a community survey, but fell short of the support it needed to be classified as “approved.” It was classified as “uncertain,” which means that it will “remain on the table for future community discussion in subsequent planning processes.” (p. 6)


3.  The Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Draft Plan (2007) [rejected]

http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/planning/neighcentres/norquay/pdf/newsletter3english.pdf

 
The Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre planning process began in 2006. The area to be included was originally defined as the area near Kingsway between Nanaimo Street and Earles Street. Boundaries were extended during the planning process to include most of those areas that had been identified as “development opportunities” in the earlier Nanaimo and 29th Avenue Station Areas Plan (1987) as well as additional lands further from the SkyTrain alignment. Residents rejected the draft plan (map shown below) via a community survey in 2007. (That was the last formal community survey that City of Vancouver ever undertook.)

 

 


4.  The Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan (2010)

http://council.vancouver.ca/20101104/documents/penv2.pdf

 
A second phase of Norquay planning 2008-2009 failed to produce a plan. When a third planning phase was launched in November 2009, the areas near the SkyTrain alignment were removed from consideration. The map below shows the final boundaries of the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre as well as the areas near the SkyTrain that were excluded from the planning process at that time.

 

 

The two station areas were designated for a future station area planning process. The relevant board from a community open house on 30 January 2010 is reproduced below.

 

 

Slocan Park is located in the area that was removed from the planning process, but the park serves a large area of Norquay. A direction was included in the Plan to incorporate additional land into the park to provide an enhanced street presence. (p. 71)


5.  Norquay Village Public Benefits Strategy (2013) and
Norquay Village Public Realm Plan (April 2016)

http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/norquay-village-public-benefits-strategy.pdf
and
http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/norquay-village-public-realm-plan.pdf

 
These later documents reiterate the need to upgrade Slocan Park. The park is included in the listing of Norquay’s parks to be renewed “over time and as the surrounding population and park usage increase.” (Norquay Village Public Realm Plan, p. 8)


Appendix A: Redevelopment under the 1987 Nanaimo and 29th Station Areas Plan

 
The twenty-one sites identified in the 1987 Plan as potential sites for redevelopment were subsequently rezoned to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development).

Many of the sites identified as suitable for multi-family residential development have not yet been redeveloped as planned. No redevelopment has occurred on adjoining Sites B and C, a fairly large area that includes the Copley Community Orchard. A few parcels have been redeveloped with single-family houses within Sites F, N, and O. Within sites M, R and S, small-scale redevelopment has taken place in the form of duplexes or triplexes on a few individual lots.

In October 2015 a policy document titled “Parking Amendments to Various DC-1 By-laws for Sites Adjacent to SkyTrain was approved by City Council. This policy reduced parking requirements on identified sites that had not yet been completely redeveloped (i.e. sites B, C, F, G, M, N, O, Q and S). The reason given for reducing the parking requirement from 1-2 per unit to 0.65 per unit is the proximity of the sites to SkyTrain stations. City staff argued that excessive parking requirements were hindering redevelopment of these sites.

Sites that have been completely or partially redeveloped as multi-family housing include:

Site G:  The Nanaimo SkyTrain Station and bus loop covers the northern corner of this site. The Westridge (4170/4180 Nanaimo Street), a complex of two 4-storey affordable rental apartment buildings, has been built along the Nanaimo frontage. The 10 parcels with single-family houses along E. 26th Avenue have not been yet been incorporated into the site. The City-owned land east of the apartment building, where a steel foundry was located in the past, is likely contaminated and remains vacant.

Site H:  Chelsea Green (4120 Kamloops), a 29-unit “family townhouse” development with rents set at 30% of income, was built on this site in 1989.

Site N:  Until now the City-owned part of this site east of Kaslo Street has been in use as a community garden. A development application is in process to build a 52-unit Temporary Modular Housing development at this location. The community garden will be moved to Slocan Park.

Site P:  Heritage Gate (2960 East 29th Avenue), a 56-unit strata described on management’s web site as a “townhouse style apartment complex,” was built on this site in 1990.

Site Q:  A 3-unit traditional rowhouse development is currently under construction at 4521 Earles Street.

In advance of expected station area planning, two sites have been assembled recently:

Site F:  Has been assembled and sold.

Site O:  Has been partially assembled, but to our knowledge no land has yet been sold.

A few small sites have been developed for uses other than housing, as recommended by the Plan.

Site E:  Three of the four lots on the northwest corner of Brant Street and E. 25th Avenue have been incorporated into the Learning Tree Daycare Centre. One lot was considered surplus to their needs and has presumably been sold.

Site J:  This small site functions as a pocket park.

Sites K and L:  These sites are now a part of the B.C. Parkway system, to be maintained by the B.C. Parkway Society. Site K on the south side of the alignment is named the Penticton Children’s Park. However, all of the play equipment originally installed in the park has been removed and not replaced.

Sites A and D  were reserved by the Plan for future development opportunities. Site D is currently being used as a community garden.

Some redevelopment has taken place on unidentified sites adjacent to the SkyTrain alignment. These include:

The Beacon (4320 Slocan Street):  A 4-storey, 41 unit affordable rental building with ground-level retail was completed in 2017 under the Rental 100 policy.

Earles Court (4590 Earles Street):  A former B.C. Electric Substation was converted into 12 apartment condo units in 1990.

3560-3570 Hull Street & 2070-2090 East 20th Avenue:  A rezoning application is currently in process to rezone this site to CD-1 to permit a 3.5 storey development of 41 townhouses, a 28-unit apartment building, and a heritage house under the Affordable Housing Choices Interim Rezoning Policy.
 
 

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Written by eyeonnorquay

10 February 2018 at 11:27 pm

Formal Comment on TMH

with one comment

 
The following formal comment from Jeanette Jones and Joseph Jones was submitted to housing@vancouver.ca by email at 9:02 am on 18 December 2017.

 
Comment on Temporary Housing Proposal for 4410 Kaslo Street —
Community Information Sessions on 13 and 14 December 2017

18 December 2017

 
We support the concept of building temporary modular housing (TMH) as one way to help house the homeless population of Vancouver. We have particular concerns related to this proposed TMH site.

 
Location of the site

The site at 4410 Kaslo Street is well situated in relation to transit and to Slocan Park. However, it is not within easy walking distance of most other amenities. The closest area with shops and services is on Kingsway, seven blocks to the south. But much of the streetscape there currently consists of empty buildings awaiting redevelopment under the Norquay Plan. The nearest grocery store is Banana Grove at Slocan and East 22nd Avenue, eight blocks away. The Renfrew Community Centre and the Renfrew Library are equally distant. The shopping area and services around the Joyce SkyTrain Station lie 15 blocks away.

Eight blocks can be a pleasant walk in good weather for healthy people. However, in cold or rainy weather it is a long way to go to supply even minor needs. The difficulty increases for tenants with mobility challenges, or for mothers with infants. Shops and services need to be accessible if tenants are to learn to live independently.

To help mitigate the effects of the distance to shops and services:

       •  Every tenant should be issued a monthly one-zone transit pass
       •  A van and driver should be available to residents on a frequent and regular basis
       •  Both individual units and communal kitchen space should be designed with more than
           standard storage, especially refrigerator space

       •  If tenants lack the skills to plan meals in advance and to shop for groceries
           in an organized way, teaching these skills should be a priority for the service provider

At a more general level,

Easy accessibility of shops and services should be added to the TMH site selection criteria.

 
Tenant mix

We support designating 4410 Kaslo as a coed residence. The selected operator (Atira) has keen interest and extensive experience in providing housing for women. Therefore,

A majority of the tenants should be women, to take full advantage of the operator’s interest and experience.

 
Transitioning residents to permanent housing

As the lives of tenants become more stable, many would need to transition to more independent, permanent housing. Favorable outcomes are most likely to be achieved if these tenants have an option to move from TMH into non-market housing while remaining in the same neighbourhood.

The nearby 2400 Motel site at Slocan Street and Kingsway has been identified in the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre Plan as the heart of the Norquay Village area. Future development of this site is already specified to deliver 500 housing units, with 100 of those non-market. Much needed indoor and outdoor community space as well as additional shops (including a grocery store) and services would also be provided. Seven years into the Norquay Plan, Kingsway is experiencing major redevelopment. Yet the 2400 Motel site has shown no sign of delivering on the major amenity promise to Norquay residents, even though the City of Vancouver (CoV) already owns the land.

The City of Vancouver needs to begin developing the 2400 Motel site according to specifications outlined in the 2010 Norquay Plan and the Norquay Public Benefits Strategy.

 
Distribution of TMH sites

Like every other Vancouver neighbourhood, Norquay / Renfrew-Collingwood needs to do its share to house Vancouver’s homeless population. We look forward to additional TMH proposals that will distribute this housing more equitably across the entire city.

Neighbourhoods that do not help the homeless by hosting a TMH site should pay a surtax designated toward provision of new non-market housing.

 
Process

The December 13 and 14 meetings were advertised as “Community Information Sessions.” But very little concrete information was available.

The community’s most pressing question — Who is going to be living in this particular TMH facility? — remains largely unanswered. The closest approximation to an answer that we were able to ascertain could be summarized as: “Tenants will be male and female homeless people already living in the neighbourhood. We don’t know who they are, how many of them there are, or where they are. But everything will work out fine — just trust us.” This response does not reassure current community residents. Instead, it leaves us feeling frustrated at best (if we believe that CoV and its partners honestly don’t have the information) or cynical and angry at worst (if we believe that CoV and its partners have the information but won’t share it with us).

Community consultation at this early stage does make it more possible for community residents to have real input on some issues. But until we have a better idea of who the tenants of the building will be, it is difficult to make meaningful comment on other topics.

The CoV desire to get TMH built as quickly as possible is understandable. However, a complex network of city, provincial and non-profit agencies is involved in making this happen. Proceeding too quickly creates stress, confusion and communication problems. Not all staff at the information session was on the same page.

Information is not always presented in a timely and forthright manner. Several community residents attending the sessions were looking for a distribution map of identified TMH sites and a list of criteria for choosing these sites. CoV has this information and it should have been provided on boards at the session. Community residents unable to attend either of the information sessions need to have timely web access to the posted boards if we are to submit comment by the December 22 deadline. As of this morning (Monday, December 18) the boards from the information sessions have not yet been made available on CoV’s TMH web site.

The next community information session needs to be scheduled as soon as CoV and its partners have a more accurate picture of who will be living in this building. This should not be a matter of simply presenting a proposed development project. Community residents would like to be informed of the approximate tenant mix in terms of service level, current area of residence, male vs. female, and single vs. family (if applicable).

The City of Vancouver has not built a relationship of trust with this particular area of Renfrew-Collingwood. The area around the 29th Avenue SkyTrain Station was abruptly cut off from Norquay in 2009 after 3½ years of the planning process for the Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre. Specific promises made in connection with the future development of Ravine Way (a linear park/pedestrian connection between Slocan Park and Norquay Park) have been retracted. Much better attention needs to be paid to process if CoV intends to introduce a SkyTrain Station Area Planning initiative here in early 2018.

 
Jeanette and Joseph Jones
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

18 December 2017 at 9:42 am

Report on TMH Sessions

with 2 comments

 
Temporary Modular Housing Community Information Sessions
Held on 13 and 14 December 2017 for 4410 Kaslo Street Site

 
Our own specific formal comment to the City of Vancouver on the siting of Temporary Modular Housing at 4410 Kaslo Street is provided as a yet-to-come separate posting to Eye on Norquay. The purpose of the account that follows is to document with comment the two evenings of interaction between Norquay and area residents and the various officials.

 
Overall Impression

On 13 and 14 December 2017 Eye on Norquay observed and participated in the full three hours of both of the two “Community Information Sessions” about the new Temporary Modular Housing (TMH) proposed for 4410 Kaslo Street across from the 29th Avenue SkyTrain Station.

What became most apparent was that five bureaucratic entities are converging to try to deliver on multiple present and upcoming TMH projects, and themselves are in the early stages of ironing out their relationships. The consequence is that these sessions for the community offered very little solid and specific information.

 

 
     Panel 5 — Addressing the Immediate Needs of Homeless People
 

Perhaps the most extensive news reporting on the event came from CTV News Vancouver on 14 December 2017. That coverage highlighted the policing of the meeting. On the first evening Eye on Norquay noticed three security guards who tightly controlled entrance and exit, and two VPD, one in uniform and one undercover.

Some of this atmosphere carried over from officialdom’s serious miscalculation in its earlier approach to bringing TMH to Marpole. The short version of that failure is that five agencies paid no attention to the history of the particular recently mass-rezoned local area minefield that they were dashing into. They were too busy focusing on themselves and their joint rapid move on Marpole, apparently unaware that Marpole was already a remarkably self-organized local community.

 
Haste and Disregard

The most obvious word to describe the “process” for the Kaslo site would be haste. On 1 December 2017 the City of Vancouver unveiled the 4410 Kaslo Street site TMH proposal via a news release. At about the same time a notification sheet was distributed to houses adjacent to the site. This timing of no more than seven working days prior to the first session fell considerably short of the usual minimum of ten days. Add to that the setting of meeting dates for less than two weeks before Christmas.

An email sent to housing@vancouver.ca on the evening of 14 December 2017 asked for a posting of the presented materials to the TMH web site. Twenty-four hours later there had been no response — neither an email reply, nor a fulfillment of the request.

On this basis and in this circumstance, local area residents are expected to provide their “input” between 13 and 22 December 2017. This kind of treatment can only confirm the cynicism of many residents who expect that the City of Vancouver intends to race ahead and will show little respect for anything they may have to say.

 
The Materials

In written form, the sessions provided two written documents —

Temporary Modular Housing Factsheet  (2 p.)   [tailored to the 4410 Kaslo Street site]

Draft Operations Management Plan, 4410 Kaslo Street, Vancouver, Rapid Response to Homelessness, Temporary Modular Housing  /  Atira Women’s Resource Society  (6 p.)

— and 17 display panels.

Since Atira learned of its selection as operator only a few days prior to the information sessions, it seems plausible that its six-page “draft plan” consists of nothing more than a rapidly tweaked version of their initial boilerplate “expression of interest” to the City of Vancouver about becoming a TMH operator. The specifics of the agreement between the two parties have yet to be negotiated. This means that the “information” that could be presented to local area residents amounted to generic aspirations only. This would explain the unwillingness and/or inability of officials to provide any useful answer to the number one question: Who would be living in the 50 TMH units proposed for 4410 Kaslo Street?

Beyond this, the panels disappointingly failed to provide information that did exist, could have been presented, and was being asked for by residents. Three prime examples:

 

 
     Map of Sites Already Announced
 

 

 
     Criteria for Site Selection
     http://council.vancouver.ca/20171004/documents/pspc2.pdf
 

 

 
     Details from Temporary Modular Housing Contract Approval  (4 Oct 2017)
     http://council.vancouver.ca/20171004/documents/pspc2.pdf
 

Eye on Norquay observed the person named in the above external documentation (tweet of 14 December 2017) aggressively deflecting and stonewalling on this particular frequently asked question. The City Council administrative report of 4 October 2017 constitutes relevant information that was actively withheld from the “Community Information Sessions.” Such an approach does not inspire trust.

 
The Timeline and Who “Decides”

Apart from panel 5 above, the panel image that follows is the only material that Eye on Norquay finds useful enough to reproduce here. The “next step” for the local community appears to consist of a single opportunity to react to an already-applied-for development permit.

 

 
     Panel 15 — Development Permit Process for Input
 

It is difficult to make sense of what this panel title could mean. Residents were told that General Manager of Planning Gil Kelley will make “a decision” following the second meeting. Few believe that this decision could be anything other than a yes.

Eye on Norquay has suggested to staff that the honest approach would be to say that Council has made the decision already, and that staff must act as the agent of Council. To displace that “decision” away from Council only fosters undeserved scorn for staff. No City Councillor made even a brief appearance at the contentious scene. For Councillors to avoid the difficult situations created by their decisions has become standard practice.

The disconnect between what TMH project leaders say and what can plainly be seen to be happening should embarrass all who speak to the issues. The official narrative maintains that what residents say matters, is taken very seriously, and might possibly even result in a decision to not locate TMH at 4410 Kaslo Street. The reality encompasses

        The politics of a growing homeless population that must be seen to be dealt with
        Few City of Vancouver sites that can satisfy the present criteria for TMH locations
        An initial $66 million that must be spent on TMH as quickly as possible
        Multiple agencies that by definition will prioritize behind-the-scenes “negotiating”
          of their own competing bureaucratic interests

 
Who Was in the Room?

The persons and departments/agencies at the sessions included:

Abi Bond
Director of Affordable Housing, Community Services
abigail.bond@vancouver.ca

Allison Dunnett
Senior Planner, Housing Policy and Projects
allison.dunnet@vancouver.ca

Ethel Whitty
Director, Homelessness Services
ethel.whitty@vancouver.ca

Luke Harrison
Director/Chief Executive Officer, Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA)
luke.harrison@vaha.ca

David Williams
Project Director, Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency (VAHA)
david.williams@vaha.ca

Brenda Prosken
Regional Director, BC Housing
???

Janice Abbott
Chief Executive Officer, Atira Women’s Resource Society
janice_abbott@atira.bc.ca

Jennifer Gray-Grant
Executive Director, Collingwood Neighbourhood House
jgray-grant@cnh.bc.ca

Unspecified Person(s)
Vancouver Coastal Health

 
The Unspeakable Good News

The serious shortcomings outlined above add to the City of Vancouver’s ignominious reputation for mistreating its residents. At least a token acknowledgment of the recent planning context established for Norquay Village Neighbourhood Centre would have been appropriate.

At the level of mere logic, the City would not serve its own interests well by flubbing any aspect of delivering TMH at this location. Mishaps would only further poison the well that the City must drink from extensively in 2018, with the start of the “station area planning” that is designated as a top priority of the Housing Vancouver Strategy approved in late November 2017.

Eye on Norquay senses that the implementation of TMH at 4410 Kaslo Street will significantly and specifically deal with fears that we heard expressed at the community information sessions. Perhaps the foremost fear is for the safety of children.

Our assessment is based on six to ten hours of two experienced persons listening carefully to what high-level staff (see listing above) had to say — and then putting all of that together and reading between the lines. There seems to be a reassuring background that the staff can barely hint at.

In a very unusual move, we judge it best in this particular case to avoid elaborating on the positives that we perceive. For the sake of the neighborhood, let’s all hope that our optimistic intuitions match up with the TMH realization.
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

16 December 2017 at 8:51 pm

Picking on the Poor

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… to Serve Vancouver’s “Development” Industry

 
“Every neighbourhood needs to do their part in taking some of this housing [for the homeless] and helping care for and engage that population”  — Gil Kelley, General Manager of Planning, Urban Design & Sustainability, City of Vancouver (27 Nov 2017)

 
 
Of Diversions and Displacement

Smoke from localized brush fires over the siting of “temporary modular housing” (TMH) should not divert an onlooker’s gaze from Vancouver’s main social conflagration. For well over a decade, the City of Vancouver, in the service of the development industry, has conducted overt war on the poor. In 2006 Project Civil City marked an early low point for this new century.

Who are the frontline casualties in this conflict? The latest count of 2,138 persons recognized as homeless. What is the current main diversionary tactic? A bureaucracy that sets off skirmishes in Vancouver’s second-tier poor neighborhoods and then accuses those areas of being filled with selfish NIMBYs.

The starting point for all of this is 2,138 homeless people

         Who find themselves perpetually moved along on the sidewalk
         Who often have their few belongings taken away and thrown out by city functionaries
         Whose right to set up a tent and to congregate for safety is subjected to constant challenge

Homeless people fall at the extreme end of a larger spectrum of deliberate displacement. At the more fortunate end are people who can leave Vancouver because they see no reasonable future for themselves in a city being sold out to globalized wealth. All are persons victimized by an ethos of greed that traces back to the corporate agendas underlying Expo 86 and the 2010 Olympics. [1]

The inevitable counterpart of this greed is the fear suffered by people who get exploited and/or shoved out of their familiar surroundings. In a trickle-out phenomenon, the homeless provoke anxieties and defensiveness in every neighborhood that lies beyond the greater Downtown Eastside area. Why is this happening now? Proximity to Vancouver’s urban core has turned the Downtown Eastside, a longstanding haven for the city’s poorest, into a prime target for gentrification — and for the resulting severest degree of displacement, no home at all.

 
Scatter and Social Mix

It is telling that the City of Vancouver is making its first moves to “scatter” TMH into the poorest areas of the rest of the city. The notion of TMH “scattered across the city” emerges in Cheryl Chan’s July 2017 reporting on an interview with Kathleen Llewellyn-Thomas, General Manager of Community Services. [2] A report that went to City Council on that same day to expedite the spread of TMH offers up this contradictory perspective: “The proposed authority does not extend to single-family (RS) zones” (page 2). [3] Thus is a strong degree of class privilege protection built into a measure that might otherwise promote a possibilty for genuine citywide equity.

The concept of “scatter” is a first cousin to the concept of “social mix.” A revealing instance of the phrase “social mix” occurs in the context of a September 2013 review of four simultaneous “community plans” — for Downtown Eastside, West End, Marpole, and Grandview-Woodland (pdf 18 / A3). [4] Only in the planning for Downtown Eastside does “social mix” emerge as a concern. The City of Vancouver seems to raise the issue of “social mix” mainly in the context of gentrifying areas that house the poor. “Social mix” thus acquires a special restricted Vancouver meaning: to displace poorer people in order to provide opportunity for richer people.

In this same vein, the City of Vancouver also professed a policy of “social mix” for “publicly-owned lands in Southeast False Creek, and defined that aspiration as a ⅓ affordable housing, ⅓ modest market and ⅓ market housing mix” (page 15). [5]

David Hulchanski’s recent income mapping of Vancouver [6] shows Marpole as the lowest-income area on the west side of Vancouver (slide 24):

 

 

A City of Vancouver document from May 2006 provides 2001 census data tailored to the 479 acres that then comprised the Norquay Village study area (this encompassed the 4410 Kaslo site newly proposed for TMH on 1 December 2017). Notable figures include a Chinese population of 48.1% and a “population in low income households” at 32.0% of 10,905. At that point Norquay organically had already achieved the low-income end of the ⅓ ⅓ ⅓ “mix” touted as desirable. It seems certain that Norquay’s subsequent planning and development has destroyed that existing balance. In a period of about four years about 11% of Norquay’s mass-rezoned 1,912 properties have been redeveloped. This change usually amounts to eliminating the oldest and most affordable housing stock and replacing it with the newest and least affordable.

 

 

Not coincidentally, both of these two local areas — Marpole and Norquay — were subjected to planning for mass rezonings during the past decade. Real estate interests have viewed both neighborhoods as de facto “brownfields” ripe for harvesting profits in, since easy build-out opportunities on former industrial lands are ceasing to exist.

 
Problems, Problems

A good candidate for Vancouver’s top problem is 2,138 people who have no home. That specific number has to be a lowball figure. As veteran housing activist Jean Swanson has put it:

 

 

So far, TMH has amounted to an intermittent and stopgap approach to attempting to provide even a temporary solution to this major problem. The TMH initiative fumbled big-time at its very inception. On 13 December 2016, City of Vancouver yanked the four specific proposed sites off the table at the last minute via a “yellow memo.” [8] Council went on to approve the new policy, but as policy suddenly left with no ground to stand on.

A time very close to Christmas can be a good time to minimize the scrutiny that increases embarrassment. The coincidence here is striking. It will be one year to the very day that City of Vancouver staff will be bringing their “Community Information Session” on TMH at 4410 Kaslo to Norquay and to other area residents.

 

 

No wonder the City of Vancouver web site for TMH fails to link to the backstory information that would permit easy discovery of previous fails. A month later, on 31 January 2017 the City of Vancouver fired Mukhtar Latif, “chief housing officer and CEO of the Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency.” Upper echelon bureaucrat Latif had spent well over three years in delivering nothing but a snafu. [9]

During another year of bumbling onward, what more has the City of Vancouver produced? One demonstration project of 40 units located at 220 Terminal Avenue, and one massive blowback situation in Marpole.

 
Solution

Any genuine solution must start by incorporating solid input from persons directly affected by homelessness, and from persons who have the trust of homeless people and are intimately connected with their circumstances on an ongoing basis. This by definition excludes City of Vancouver staff.

Distrust starts at the top. Recent Vancouver homeless history provides a singular instance of a meeting where Mayor Gregor Robertson personally signed a pledge that the City of Vancouver would provide “100% welfare/pension rate community-controlled social housing at 58 West Hastings.” [10]

 

 

At about the same time, the preceding decade of history for that especially contentious and historic site was written up. [11] What has happened in the year since? Gregor Robertson has once again added to his personal dishonor by reneging on this public pledge. [12]

Any genuine solution must amount to something more than portable SROs shoved randomly and opportunistically into sometimes hostile environments, with City of Vancouver officials like Mayor Gregor Robertson occasionally showing up to finger-wag at local residents about how they should play nice.

Homelessness is a major problem that has to be owned up to honestly by every resident of Vancouver. Appropriate funding must be allocated to the situation. The City of Vancouver can always find money for what it really wants to do. Big money fast, like the untold hundreds of millions to bail out the Malek developers of Olympic Village. [13] Big money fast, like $55 million to buy the Arbutus strip of land from Canadian Pacific. [14] The City of Vancouver has to stop crying poor whenever it comes to spending money to house the poor.

Through recently completed planning, Norquay is already slated to provide 100 units of non-market housing at the 2400 Motel site on Kingsway. This is land that the City of Vancouver already owns. Eye on Norquay has specifically brought this matter to the attention of senior planning officials, both in person and through formal correspondence on 19 June 2017. All Norquay residents deserve an explanation as to why the sudden makeshift measures of TMH should take priority over the results of an extensive formal planning process that concluded seven years ago.

Who would want 50 temporary portable SRO units when they could have 100 permanent purpose-built dwelling units? This is a matter of logic. The emotionalism of finger-pointing and name-calling that the City of Vancouver directs at singled-out poorer neighborhoods needs to stop now. Misdirection is a shameful substitute for considered and transparent planning.
 

 
[1]  Two revealing quotations:

“If the Olympic bid wasn’t happening we would have to invent something.”  — Jack Poole, Vancouver real estate developer and VANOC chair
Frank O’Brien. Western perspective: Taxpayers reluctant skeleton in 2010 bid. Western Investor (June 2002) A6

“Nobody wants to admit it, but Vancouver has become a resort city where rich foreigners live a few months per year … It’s a $6-billion ad buy [with the Olympics]. There’s never been anything like it. It will change Vancouver, forever.”  — Bob Rennie, Vancouver condominium marketer
Miro Cernetig. The views from on high are nice, but not many can afford them. Vancouver Sun (25 Jan 2010) A1

[2]  Cheryl Chan. Vancouver wants more modular housing built to help homeless. Vancouver Sun (26 July 2017)
Vancouver wants more modular housing built to help homeless

[3]  Council Report: Zoning and Development By-law No. 3575 – Amendment to the General Regulations to Delegate Discretionary Relaxation Powers to Expedite the Delivery of Low Cost Housing for Persons Receiving Assistance (26 July 2017)
http://council.vancouver.ca/20170726/documents/pspc-UrgentBusiness1.pdf

[4]  Council Report: Community Plans: Next Steps (25 Sept 2013)
http://council.vancouver.ca/20130925/documents/cfsc1.pdf

[5]  Sustainable Community Assessment for Southeast False Creek (28 Jan 2005)
http://council.vancouver.ca/20050201/ym3a.pdf

[6]  J. David Hulchanski. What is Happening to My Neighbourhood? The Socio-Spatial Restructuring of Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal 1970 to 2015 (Dec 2017)
http://neighbourhoodchange.ca/documents/2017/12/van-cal-tor-mont-1970-2015.pdf

[7]  Council Agenda: Item 2. Temporary Modular Housing Definition And Regulations: Proposed Amendments To Existing City-Owned Cd-1 Sites, And Design Guidelines (13 Dec 2016)
Includes: Policy Report, Staff Presentation, Summary and Recommendation, and Memorandum
http://council.vancouver.ca/20161213/phea20161213ag.htm

[8]  Matt Kieltyka. Vancouver’s chief housing officer Mukhtar Latif fired. Vancouver Metro (31 Jan 2017)
http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/01/31/vancouver-chief-housing-officer-mukhtar-latif-fired.html

[9]  Stefania Seccia. West Hastings ‘tent city’ could be around for years. Megaphone Magazine/Tyee (4 Aug 2016)
https://thetyee.ca/News/2016/08/04/West-Hastings-Tent-City/

[10]  Kai Rajala / Nathan Crompton. Battle of 58 West Hastings: The History of a Fight for Housing, 2007–Present. Mainlander (27 July 2016)
http://themainlander.com/2016/07/27/battleof58/

[11]  City screws DTES again: 58 W Hastings Protest & news conference (24 Oct 2017)
http://www.carnegieaction.org/2017/10/24/city-screws-dtes-58-w-hastings-protest-news-conference/

[12]  Bob Mackin. City stands firm on Olympic Village loss. Vancouver Courier (21 Oct 2011) 19
http://www.vancourier.com/news/city-stands-firm-on-olympic-village-loss-1.377596

[13]  Frances Bula. Vancouver acquires Arbutus rail corridor from CP for $55-million. Globe and Mail (7 Mar 2016)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/vancouver-settles-dispute-over-arbutus-corridor-with-55-million-payment-to-cp-rail/article29049229/
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

12 December 2017 at 4:31 pm

TMH Information Resources

 
Information Resources on
Temporary Modular Housing for
Homeless in Vancouver

 
Eye on Norquay will continue to add to the selection of citations listed below.
Ordering is reverse chronological, with newest at top.
Resource established 9 December 2017.  Last updated: 19 March 2018

 
See also  Vancouver TMH Sites

 
City of Vancouver Web Site for Temporary Modular Housing  (ongoing)
http://vancouver.ca/people-programs/temporary-modular-housing.aspx

Note: Drop-down menus provide information for specific sites. Specific site information provided there is not reproduced below. From 14 December 2017 to 3/4 January 2018 City of Vancouver failed to provide information for the Kaslo / 29th Avenue SkyTrain site, in spite of repeated requests made by more than one person through multiple channels, starting with Eye on Norquay email sent at 10:34 pm on 14 December 2017.

 
 
Other City of Vancouver Materials

 
Kaslo / 29th Avenue SkyTrain Site

Vancouver Mayor’s Office. Temporary modular housing approved for Kaslo Street (13 Mar 2018)
http://mayorofvancouver.ca/news/temporary-modular-housing-approved-kaslo-street

Draft Operations Management Plan, 4410 Kaslo Street, Vancouver — Rapid Response to Homelessness, Temporary Modular Housing  /  Atira Women’s Resource Society  (13-14 Dec 2017)
[scanned pdf of six-page document provided at Community Information Sessions]

City of Vancouver News: 4410 Kaslo Street planned as next site for temporary modular housing  (1 Dec 2017)
http://vancouver.ca/news-calendar/4410-kaslo-street-planned-as-next-site-for-temporary-modular-housing.aspx

Norquay School News — Advertisement  (December 2017)
http://go.vsb.bc.ca/schools/norquay/Publications/December%202017%20Newsletter.pdf


Marpole Site

Caring Citizens of Vancouver Society v. Vancouver (City), 2018 BCSC 72  (17 Jan 2018)
http://www.courts.gov.bc.ca/jdb-txt/sc/18/00/2018BCSC0072cor1.htm

Five Community Advisory Committee documents of 12 January 2018 with deadline to apply of 19 January 2018
Invitation Letter  /  Terms of Reference (English)  /  Terms of Reference (Chinese)  / 
Application Form (English)  /  Application form (Chinese)

 
Temporary Modular Housing

Council Agenda: Item 7. TEXT AMENDMENTS: Amendments to Official Development Plans to Add Temporary Modular Housing as a Permitted Use  (6 Dec 2017)
Council Agenda: Item 8. TEXT AMENDMENT: Amendments to the Regional Context Statement Official Development Plan By-law To Facilitate the Development of Temporary Modular Housing  (6 Dec 2017)
http://council.vancouver.ca/20171206/phea20171206ag.htm

Council Report: Amendments to Official Development Plans to Add Temporary Modular Housing as a Permitted Use  (14 Nov 2017)
http://council.vancouver.ca/20171114/documents/p10.pdf

Council Report: Temporary Modular Housing Contract Approval  (4 Oct 2017)
http://council.vancouver.ca/20171004/documents/pspc2.pdf

Council Agenda: Item 2. Temporary Modular Housing Definition And Regulations: Proposed Amendments To Existing City-Owned Cd-1 Sites, And Design Guidelines  (13 Dec 2016)
Includes: Policy Report, Staff Presentation, Summary and Recommendation, and Memorandum
http://council.vancouver.ca/20161213/phea20161213ag.htm

Council Presentation: Modular Housing Initiative – Update to Council  (17 May 2016)
http://council.vancouver.ca/20160517/documents/rr2presentation.pdf

 
Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency

Council Report: Proposed Amendment to Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency Ltd. (VAHA) Governance Structure  (28 Nov 2017)
http://council.vancouver.ca/20171128/documents/a10.pdf

Council Presentation: Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency – Update to Council  (31 May 2016)
http://council.vancouver.ca/20160531/documents/rr2presentation.pdf

Council Presentation: Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency Progress Report  (10 June 2015)
http://council.vancouver.ca/20150610/documents/cfsc1_presentation.pdf

Council Agenda: Item 2. Creation of Vancouver Affordable Housing Agency  (8 July 2014)
Includes: Administrative Report, Staff Presentation
http://council.vancouver.ca/20140708/regu20140708ag.htm

In Camera Administrative Report: Creation of Housing Authority  (10 June 2014)
http://council.vancouver.ca/20140610/documents/icre-CreationofHousingAuthority_R.pdf

 
General

News Release: 39 units of temporary modular housing approved for Powell Street. Vancouver Mayor’s Office  (6 Mar 2018)
http://mayorofvancouver.ca/news/39-units-temporary-modular-housing-approved-powell-street

Council Agenda: Item 1. Housing Vancouver Strategy (2018 – 2027) and 3-Year Action Plan (2018 – 2020)  (28 Nov 2017)
Includes: Policy Report, Staff Presentation
http://council.vancouver.ca/20171128/regu20171128ag.htm

Council Agenda: Item 2. TEXT AMENDMENT: Zoning and Development By-law No. 3575 – Amendment to the General Regulations to Delegate Discretionary Relaxation Powers to Expedite the Delivery of Low Cost Housing for Persons Receiving Assistance  (19 Sept 2017)
Includes: Summary and Recommendation, Policy Report, Draft By-law, Memorandum, Staff Presentation
http://council.vancouver.ca/20170919/phea20170919ag.htm

Council Report: Zoning and Development By-law No. 3575 – Amendment to the General Regulations to Delegate Discretionary Relaxation Powers to Expedite the Delivery of Low Cost Housing for Persons Receiving Assistance  (26 July 2017)
http://council.vancouver.ca/20170726/documents/pspc-UrgentBusiness1.pdf

Council Presentation: Presentation – Housing Vancouver Update – Part II – Addressing Vancouver’s Lower Income and Homeless Residents  (26 July 2017)
http://council.vancouver.ca/20170726/documents/pspc1-Presentation.pdf

Council Presentation: Housing Vancouver Update Presentation to City Council  (25 July 2017)
http://council.vancouver.ca/20170725/documents/regurr1presentation.pdf

Memorandum: Staffing Update – Housing Policy Group to move to Planning, Urban Design and Sustainability  (30 Mar 2017)
http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/2017-03-30-staffing-update-housing-policy-group-to-move-to-planning-urban-design-sustainability.pdf

Council Agenda: Item 1. Vancouver Housing and Homelessness Strategy Reset – Housing Vancouver Emerging Directions  (28 Mar 2017)
Includes: Administrative Report, Staff Presentation
http://council.vancouver.ca/20170328/regu20170328ag.htm

Council Agenda: Item 1. 2015 Housing and Homelessness Strategy Report Card: Part Two  (31 May 2016)
Includes: Administrative Report, Staff Presentation
http://council.vancouver.ca/20160531/regu20160531ag.htm

Council Agenda: Item 2. 2015 Housing and Homelessness Strategy Report Card – Part 1  (17 May 2016)
Includes: Administrative Report, Staff Presentation
http://council.vancouver.ca/20160517/regu20160517ag.htm

 
News:  Kaslo / 29th Avenue SkyTrain Site

Penny Daflos / Kendra Mangione. Security present at meeting on homeless housing.
CTV News Vancouver (14 Dec 2017)
https://bc.ctvnews.ca/security-present-at-meeting-on-homeless-housing-1.3722017

Saša Lakić. Collingwood residents want more info on modular housing. Vancouver Courier (14 Dec 2017)
http://www.vancourier.com/news/collingwood-residents-want-more-info-on-modular-housing-1.23123169

Nadia Stewart. Kaslo modular housing fight (video). Global News (8 Dec 2017)
https://globalnews.ca/video/3906973/kaslo-modular-housing-fight

Charlie Smith. City and B.C. Housing to host open houses before creating modular housing on Powell, Franklin, and Kaslo streets. Georgia Straight (3 Dec 2017)
https://www.straight.com/news/1003406/city-and-bc-housing-host-open-houses-creating-modular-housing-powell-franklin-and-kaslo

Mike Howell. City identifies another site for homeless housing in Vancouver. Vancouver Courier (1 Dec 2017)
http://www.vancourier.com/news/city-identifies-another-site-for-homeless-housing-in-vancouver-1.23110397

 
News:  Marpole Site

Adrienne Tanner. Vancouver learns some hard lessons after housing fight. Globe and Mail (18 Mar 2018)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-vancouver-learns-some-hard-lessons-after-housing-fight/

Melanie Green. Marpole ‘a food desert’ warn members of Vancouver neighbourhood. Vancouver Metro (7 Mar 2018)
http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2018/03/07/marpole-a-food-desert-warn-members-of-vancouver-neighbourhood.html

Briar Stewart. Handful of homeless Vancouverites turn down housing because of neighbourhood protests. CBC News (6 Mar 2018)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-housing-homeless-1.4563207

Nick Eagland. City secrecy on tenant mix at Marpole modular housing alarms community group. Vancouver Sun (2 Mar 2018)
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/tenants-move-in-to-marpole-temporary-modular-housing

Stanley Q. Woodvine. Homeless in Vancouver: Glenn and Shaun get kicked out of Marpole modular housing before they even move in. Georgia Straight (24 Feb 2018)
https://www.straight.com/life/1037106/homeless-vancouver-glenn-and-shaun-get-kicked-out-marpole-modular-housing-they-even

Nick Eagland. Vancouver unveils Marpole temporary modular housing. Vancouver Sun (10 Feb 2018)
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/vancouver-unveils-temporary-modular-housing-project-in-kerrisdale

Mike Howell. Church looks to welcome homeless to Marpole housing site. Vancouver Courier (22 Jan 2018)
http://www.vancourier.com/news/church-looks-to-welcome-homeless-to-marpole-housing-site-1.23151657

Jen St. Denis. Lawsuit to halt homeless housing in Marpole dismissed. Vancouver Metro (18 Jan 2018)
http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2018/01/18/lawsuit-to-halt-homeless-housing-in-marpole-dismissed.html

Mike Howell. Marpole homeless housing taking shape. Vancouver Courier (15 Jan 2018)
http://www.vancourier.com/news/marpole-homeless-housing-taking-shape-1.23145073

Melody Ma. The missing story of the Marpole Temporary Modular Housing protest. (28 Dec 2017)
https://medium.com/@melodyma/the-missing-story-of-the-marpole-temporary-modular-housing-protest-cb4f3ddb3117

Xiao Xu. Vancouver residents push back against modular-housing development for homeless. Globe and Mail (26 Dec 2017)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/vancouver-residents-push-back-against-modular-housing-development-for-the-homeless/article37431931/

Jessica Kerr. Marpole residents ask for judicial review of modular housing. Vancouver Courier (8 Dec 2017)
http://www.vancourier.com/news/marpole-residents-ask-for-judicial-review-of-modular-housing-1.23117645

Ashifa Kassam. Vancouver protesters ordered to stop blocking homeless housing project. Guardian (6 Dec 2017)
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/dec/06/vancouver-canada-homeless-project-protest-court

Ana Rose Walkey. B.C. Supreme Court orders end to Vancouver modular-housing protest. Globe and Mail (5 Dec 2017)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/bc-supreme-court-orders-end-to-vancouver-housing-protest/article37219138/

Mike Howell. Marpole housing complex for homeless to open in February. Vancouver Courier (28 Nov 2017)
http://www.vancourier.com/news/marpole-housing-complex-for-homeless-to-open-in-february-1.23106360

Dan Fumano / Patrick Johnston. Marpole modular housing permit receives conditional approval. Vancouver Sun (27 Nov 2017)
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/marpole-temporary-modular-housing-development-permit-receives-conditional-approval

Travis Lupick. Modular housing for low-income residents approved for Marpole despite neighbourhood opposition. Georgia Straight (27 Nov 2017)
https://www.straight.com/news/1000686/modular-housing-low-income-residents-approved-marpole-despite-neighbourhood-opposition

Jen St. Denis. Marpole students speak up in support of housing for homeless. Vancouver Metro (15 Nov 2017)
http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/11/15/marpole-students-speak-up-in-support-of-housing-for-homeless.html

Jen St. Denis. A call for compassion in Marpole, where housing for homeless is planned. Vancouver Metro (8 Nov 2017)
http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/11/08/a-call-for-compasion-in-marpole.html

Mike Hager. Disputed Vancouver project to house homeless will proceed, mayor says. Globe and Mail (6 Nov 2017)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/disputed-vancouver-project-to-house-homeless-will-proceed-mayor-says/article36858453/

Jen St. Denis. Marpole site chosen for Vancouver’s second modular housing. Vancouver Metro (26 Oct 2017)
http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/10/26/marpole-site-for-vancouver-s-second-modular-housing.html

 
News:  General and Other

Simon Little. 9 years after Little Mountain social housing demolished, modular housing to rise on nearly empty site. Global News (14 Mar 2018)
https://globalnews.ca/news/4083039/little-mountain-modular-housing/

Daisy Xiong. Feature: Brighouse residents rally against proposed homeless housing. Richmond News (9 Mar 2018)
http://www.richmond-news.com/news/weekly-feature/feature-brighouse-residents-rally-against-proposed-homeless-housing-1.23195828

Graeme Wood: Richmond realtors petition against homeless housing, says advocate. Richmond News (2 Mar 2018)
http://www.richmond-news.com/news/richmond-realtors-petition-against-homeless-housing-says-advocate-1.23190515

Graeme Wood. Eyewitness: Richmond librarian assaulted with ‘flying Bruce Lee kick’ at homeless housing meeting. Richmond News (28 Feb 2018)
http://www.richmond-news.com/news/eyewitness-richmond-librarian-assaulted-with-flying-bruce-lee-kick-at-homeless-housing-meeting-1.23188161

Emelie Peacock. Vancouver housing society expanding to Fraser Valley. Agassiz-Harrison Observer (1 Feb 2018)
https://www.agassizharrisonobserver.com/news/vancouver-housing-society-expanding-to-fraser-valley/

Anna Dimoff. Metro Vancouver residents demand transparency over modular housing tenants they fear could pose a risk. CBC News BC (5 Feb 2018)
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/modular-housing-opposition-vancouver-1.4521454

Wendy Stueck. Key Vancouver social housing project averaged only two police calls per month. Globe and Mail (16 Jan 2018)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/key-vancouver-social-housing-project-averaged-only-two-police-calls-per-month/article37615913/

Mike Howell. Six months later, no housing for homeless. Vancouver Courier (9 Jan 2018)
http://www.vancourier.com/news/six-months-later-no-housing-for-homeless-1.23139548

Wanyee Li. Vancouver proposes modular housing near Olympic Village area. Vancouver Metro (7 Jan 2018)
http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2018/01/07/modular-housing-proposed-near-vancouver-s-olympic-village-area.html

Saša Lakić. Modular housing projects provide ‘a place to call home.’ Vancouver Courier (8 Dec 2017)
http://www.vancourier.com/news/modular-housing-projects-provide-a-place-to-call-home-1.23117683

Charlie Smith. City and B.C. Housing to host open houses before creating modular housing on Powell, Franklin, and Kaslo streets. Georgia Straight (3 Dec 2017)
https://www.straight.com/news/1003406/city-and-bc-housing-host-open-houses-creating-modular-housing-powell-franklin-and-kaslo

Dan Fumano. With more modular housing coming, city looks to learn from Marpole backlash. Vancouver Sun (14 Nov 2017)
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/dan-fumano-despite-opposition-in-kerrisdale-and-marpole-expect-more-housing-action-from-city-hall

Jean Swanson. Tax the rich with a Mansion Tax. Georgia Straight (6 Oct 2017)
https://www.straight.com/news/977946/jean-swanson-tax-rich-mansion-tax

Stephanie Ip. Vancouver city council awards contract to build 600 modular homes. Vancouver Sun (5 Oct 2017)
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/vancouver-city-council-awards-contract-to-build-600-modular-homes

Jen St. Denis. Vancouver to announce homeless modular housing sites soon. Vancouver Metro (4 Oct 2017)
http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/10/04/vancouver-to-announce-homeless-modular-housing-sites-soon.html

Jesse Ferreras / Nadia Stewart. 40 modular housing units. 600 more coming. Still not enough for Vancouver’s homeless: critics. Global News (20 Sept 2017)
https://globalnews.ca/news/3760320/modular-housing-vancouver/

Cheryl Chan. Vancouver wants more modular housing built to help homeless. Vancouver Sun (26 July 2017)
http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/vancouver-wants-more-modular-housing-built-to-help-homeless

Carlito Pablo. City of Vancouver aims for more temporary modular housing to take in poor people. Georgia Straight (26 July 2017)
https://www.straight.com/news/940976/city-vancouver-aims-more-temporary-modular-housing-take-poor-people

Katie Hyslop. ‘Modular’ one-person homes fill a need in Vancouver. Tyee (17 Feb 2017)
https://thetyee.ca/News/2017/02/17/Modular-One-Person-Homes-Vancouver/

Jen St. Denis. Vancouver’s modular housing not as inexpensive as it seems, argues real estate broker. Vancouver Metro (9 Jan 2017)
http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/01/09/vancouver-modular-housing-not-as-cheap-as-it-looks.html

Jean Swanson. Unpacking government claims about homelessness. Georgia Straight (20 June 2016)
https://www.straight.com/news/721261/jean-swanson-unpacking-government-claims-about-homelessness

 
News:  Poor Doors

Jen St. Denis. City planners to review separate entrances for social housing units. Vancouver Metro (4 Dec 2017)
http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/12/04/city-to-look-at-poor-doors.html

Jon Azpiri. ‘Poor doors’ and ‘poor playgrounds’: Vancouver development criticized for divisions between condos, social housing. Global News (27 Nov 2017)
https://globalnews.ca/news/3884276/poor-doors-and-poor-playgrounds-vancouver-development-criticized-for-divisions-between-condos-social-housing/

Jen St. Denis. West End condo would not only have “poor door,” but poor playground. Vancouver Metro (23 Nov 2017)
http://www.metronews.ca/news/vancouver/2017/11/23/west-end-condo-would-not-only-have-poor-door-but-poor-playground.html

Naibh O’Connor. Vancouver housing activist slams ‘poor doors.’ Vancouver Courier (6 May 2015)
http://www.vancourier.com/news/vancouver-housing-activist-slams-poor-doors-1.1926603

Andrea Woo. Vancouver developer accused of using ‘poor door’ for low-income residents. Globe and Mail (5 May 2015)
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/vancouver-developer-accused-of-using-poor-door-for-low-income-residents/article24272511/
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

9 December 2017 at 11:55 am

Temporary Modular Housing

with 2 comments

 
4410 Kaslo Street Across from 29th Avenue SkyTrain Station

 
On Friday 1 December 2017 news came out that City of Vancouver looks to place “temporary modular housing” on the site of a community garden that lies just to the north of the Norquay area of East Vancouver. The three-storey structure(s) would contain “approximately 50 single-occupancy homes” and “be in place for up to five years, with the possibility to extend another five years” (notification sheet image below).

        Community Information Sessions
        4 pm to 7 pm  •  Wednesday 13 December 2017
        4 pm to 7 pm  •  Thursday 14 December 2017
        First Hungarian Presbyterian Church, 2791 East 27th Avenue

 

 
     Vancouver Courier/Dan Toulgoet Photo of 4410 Kaslo Street
 

 
Norquay and Then Not Norquay

This Kaslo Street site fell within the boundaries of Norquay for the first 3½ years of planning — from the outset in March 2006 until an abrupt cut-off, announced by then Director of Planning Brent Toderian to Norquay Working Group on 2 November 2009. City planners informed Norquay in writing on 30 Jan 2010:

        Input received through the Norquay Village planning process
        will be included in the [future] station area planning phase.

        (Open House Panel 3 — Station Area Planning in Norquay)

The Housing Vancouver Strategy adopted by City Council on 29 November 2017 sets the highest priority on launching “station area planning” early in 2018 for both the 29th Avenue and Nanaimo SkyTrain stations.

In July 2017 Cheryl Chan reported that City of Vancouver had hopes of seeing 600 modular units “scattered across the city at up to 15 under-used or vacant sites pending development.” As of early December 2017, the City of Vancouver web site identifies 7 locations: 220 Terminal Avenue, 650 West 57th Avenue, 1115 Franklin Street, 1131 Franklin Street, 1141 Franklin Street, 501 Powell Street, 4410 Kaslo Street. A mapping of those locations shows a dramatic skew in geographic distribution so far:

 

 
     Seven Vancouver Temporary Modular Housing Sites as of 3 Dec 2017
 

 
Poor Doors Escalate to Poor Areas

With 7 of perhaps 15 sites now designated for temporary modular housing, the process may have reached a half-way mark for the current round. The current “scatter” of temporary modular housing shows a distinct socioeconomic pattern. This particular new City of Vancouver “planning” effort apparently seeks to go citywide with the poor-door philosophy of shunning social mix. Planners have planned for, and Council or staff have approved, that same poor-door philosophy in controversial condo development projects like these:

•  Strathcona Village at 955 East Hastings — 18 September 2012 Public Hearing

•  The Jervis at 1171 Jervis Street — 4 May 2015 Development Permit Board

•  1068-1080 Burnaby Street and 1318 Thurlow Street — 22 November 2017 Open House

 
In other words, just as certain condo residents are expected to enter through a lower-class doorway, certain Vancouver residents are expected to find their housing in a lower-class neighbourhood. If this is how the city wants things to be, then specific property surtax should be levied on local areas that fail to shoulder their load in helping to house the homeless.

In September 2017 Jean Swanson, by-election candidate for City Council, and first runner-up in the election voting, said this to Global News:

        Six hundred units a year, for three years, that’s only 1,800.
        We already have 2,138 homeless people, so it’s not enough.

 

 

 
     Notification Sheet from City of Vancouver
 
 



 
 
Resources:

On 18 December 2017 Eye on Norquay moved this set of links to a separate posting as TMH Information Resources.
 
 

Written by eyeonnorquay

9 December 2017 at 11:53 am