Special Guest Speakers: Patrick Beattie and Duncan Higgon (Portland Hotel Society) Topic: Temporary Modular Housing The guests took the floor at 11:30 am. Duncan Higgon and Patrick Beattie are leads with the Portland Hotel Society’s Temporary Modular Housing (TMH) initiative. They were pleased to announce that in Vancouver, 660 units of supportive housing have come on line in the past year. Attempts to reduce progress-slowing red tape and bureaucracy have meant that it now takes nine to ten months to build units and to house people who need a medicalized environment. The key is to get people off the streets so that they may begin their recovery under supervised conditions. PHS and other supportive housing advocates insist that shelter is the first step to wellness and that it is fiscally responsible to create supportive housing because spending $11 on housing SAVES $20 in the system.
(full minutes below, see section 5 for Guest Speakers and Q&A):
Patrick Beattie and Duncan Higgon from the Portland Hotel Society will be our Guest Speakers for a presentation on Temporary Modular Housing.
The AGM and guest presentation will take place on Sunday, March 17th, from 11:00 am to 1:45 pm, at Canuck Family Education Centre, 1655 William Street (the southern-most building in the Britannia complex on the north side of Grandview Park). Everyone is welcome to attend.
Our AGM is slated for Sunday, March 17th, from 11:00 am to 1:45 pm, at Canuck Family Education Centre, 1655 William Street (the southern-most building in the Britannia complex on the north side of Grandview Park). Everyone is welcome to attend to hear Board members’ annual reports, to enjoy our special panel on modular housing, and to vote for candidates for next year’s Board. GWAC urges people who live or work in the neighbourhood to consider becoming part of the Board—put your name forward at the AGM. Members of the current GWAC Board hope to see many Grandview-Woodland neighbours at this annual event.
GWAC Annual General Meeting – March 17th at 11AM Special panel on modular housing
The following letter was sent on the community’s behalf objecting to the recent change by City Council to the definition of ‘social housing’ and to the procedural change which would make the Development Permit Board the final arbiter of developer requests to up-zone. New Board member, Garth Mullin, addressed Council outlining our concerns. The motion unfortunately passed with amendments.
Honourable Mayor and Members of Council,
Grandview-Woodland Are Council wish to express their deep concern over proposed changes to the definition of ‘social housing’ and to the review procedures for awarding increased density in the DOPD.
We do not view the proposed re-definition as acceptable. Indeed, by it’s nature, it precludes the people who would otherwise be eligible based on the Provincial shelter allowance for those on social assistance. This city’s poor are citizens who deserve better than this ‘sleight of hand’. Many citizens work part or full-time for minimum wage or little more; neither they nor those on pensions or social assistance can afford $850 or more for rent. An updated definition reflecting the shelter allowance rate is perfectly workable and not in the least old-fashioned. According to Jean Swanson, “The city is completely abandoning low income people with this new definition. The city’s 2009 social indicators report, page 71, says 26.6% of city residents have low incomes.” That is a lot of people to put at risk of homelessness.
We also oppose strongly the change in procedure which would transfer responsibility from Council to the Development Permit Board. These four city Hall employees have no accountability to the public and no need to explain or justify their decisions. There is no appeal process for a decision they make.
We urge you to send this proposal back for careful re-examination and we further insist that you retain direct responsibility for the planning decisions we will all have to live with. Thank you for your consideration.
Grandview-Woodland Area Council Britannia Community Centre 1661 Napier Street Vancouver, BC V5L4X4