With the majority of the city’s residents living in rental housing, what does this mean for the next generation of Vancouverites? Or for seniors and families, for low-income, racialized and marginalized households, and for the many others who do not see a secure housing future in Vancouver? How must the City of Vancouver think differently about housing and the housing market to better meet the needs of its residents, ensuring priority for those with the greatest need? And how can a new city-wide plan ensure the urgent and transformative change necessary to establish an equitable housing system? Join us to discuss these questions at our free webinar on January 21, the second event in “The Future We Want: The Change We Need” series, hosted by the City of Vancouver in partnership with SFU Public Square, the SFU City Program, SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement and SFU Urban Studies. Towards a More Equitable Housing System: Is Vancouver a City for Renters? Thursday, January 21 3 p.m.–5 p.m. PST Speakers: Khelsilem (Squamish Nation Councillor), William Azaroff, Leilani Farha, Evan Siddall, Barbara Steenbergen, Andy Yan Moderators: Kerry Gold, Meg Holden
The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority to inform you that we are now accepting applications for the third and last application intake period for the Centerm Community Fund. The Centerm Community Fund is a $500,000 fund for projects and programs run by organizations in the Downtown Eastside, Strathcona, Hastings-Sunrise, and Grandview-Woodland. Applications can be submitted until April 2, 2021.
Construction of the Centerm Expansion Project and South Shore Access Project has been underway since the summer of 2019. As part of this project, and our commitment to supporting local communities, the port authority, in collaboration with Centerm container terminal operator DP World, is donating $2 million to community organizations and initiatives in East Vancouver. For more information see the news release issued in July 2019.
Part of this donation included the creation of the $500,000 Centerm Community Fund to provide support for projects proposed by organizations in the Downtown Eastside, Strathcona, Hastings-Sunrise, and Grandview-Woodlands. This fund is one way we’re saying “thank you” to the community for your patience while significant construction is completed on the Centerm terminal and along the south shore of the Burrard Inlet.
During two previous rounds of funding, the port authority provided grants to 29 local organizations. The selection committee chose a variety of programs that support many people in our port city, including some of the most vulnerable—children, elders, low-income families, Indigenous peoples, unemployed, and newcomers to Canada—and contribute to enabling thriving communities over the long term. For a list of recipients, see our website.
Starting on January 5, 2021 until April 2, 2021, the port authority is accepting applications for the third and last round of funding. Applications must be received during the intake period to be considered.
Organizations that submitted in previous intakes are welcome to re-apply.
We held our first Zoom community meeting on October 5. The topic was housing – how we provide it for varying community needs, and what concerns residents have about housing types and forms.
We were pleased that over 22 people logged in and expressed their views. Many emphasized their strong support for social housing in the neighbourhood, but were concerned about whether the recommendations of the community plan related to height, density, and placement were being ignored.
Participants also referenced issues related to the recent park encampments with concerns expressed about safety and a lack of washroom facilities for campers. So far city officials have failed to address neighbourhood worries about these encampments and any housing provided for campers will certainly be many months away at best.
Temporary modular housing (TMH) was discussed with concerns about the city’s proposed 98 units at 1580 Vernon Street in an industrial area west of Clark. This, along with a large social housing facility planned at Clark and First Avenue is too large a concentration of units in an unsuitable area, some suggested.
Some community activists have also advocated for TMH behind the Kettle drop in centre on Commercial Drive and Venables. However the city is unlikely to pursue this option, preferring to work on a proposal for the Kettle Friendship Society to build 50 units of housing and a drop in centre on that city parking lot instead.
The 9-story building proposed at 1766 Frances was discussed. The applicant, the Vancouver Native Housing Society, is seeking 84 social housing units “with rental rates set at 30% of a household’s income.” Participants re-iterated their broad support for social housing in Grandview-Woodland, but with concerns about this building’s height, density and precedent-setting for future developments.
We feel this first Zoom session was a resounding success and hope to hold more forums in the near future. Stay tuned!