LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS: MAYOR GREGOR, PROTECT THE HEART OF CHINATOWN! Hundreds Demand Rejection of 105 Keefer St. Luxury Condos at Public Hearing
(Vancouver, Unceded Coast Salish Territories – May 16, 2017) On Tuesday, May 23rd, residents, organizations, and community members will descend on Vancouver City Hall to demand that Mayor Gregor protect low-income residents and the heart of Chinatown, not corporate developer profits. After four revisions and over two years of consultations and mobilizations, Chinatown Concern Group, Chinatown Action Group, and other youth organizations won small concessions from the 105 Keefer St. project: 25 senior units, temporary space for a private seniors’ organization, and a 23% reduction in market units (137 to 106 units).
Still, the project threatens to displace Chinatown’s predominantly low-income community. 106 market units will dramatically increase rents in the neighbourhood and the token 25 senior units are likely to be still out of reach for low-income tenants. Instead, Chinatown Concern Group is calling for 100% welfare-pension rate social housing and public and permanent cultural community space. Beverly Ho, Chinatown Concern Group Organizer: “New luxury condos are going up at breakneck speeds in Chinatown while residents living on a knife’s edge of affordability are being pushed out. Mayor Gregor has the responsibility to protect the heart of Chinatown and ensure Chinatown is thriving and affordable. Our ask is simple: reject Beedie’s 105 Keefer Rezoning Application.”
Community members will speak at the 105 Keefer St. Rezoning Public Hearing to demand Mayor Gregor protect the heart of Chinatown, not developer profits.
Tuesday, May 23rd, 5 PM Press Conference (City Hall – South Entrance), 6 PM Public Hearing (Council Chambers)
Vancouver City Hall – 453 W. 12th Ave, Vancouver, BC
Chinatown Concern Group is a group of Chinese residents of organizing to ensure Chinatown is thriving, livable and affordable. Chinatown residents will also be available to speak to media at a rally and festival the day before on May 22 at 1 pm at Chinatown Memorial Square (at Keefer St. and Columbia St.).
100 residents, seniors, and community members with colourful signs, noisemakers, and a large banner, chanting and speaking on the steps of Vancouver City Hall.
Price Tags asked historian and heritage advocate John Atkin how he would rezone Chinatown. Here’s his solution:
A Cultural Landscape Not a Development Area
Chinatown is both a nationally recognized historic district spanning Pender to Gore with its distinctive and unique Society buildings, and it is the surrounding business district which maintains the area’s traditional retail of bbq meats, fruits, vegetables, and live fish. Together they form a cultural landscape that ‘provides the vitality and living colour that gives Chinatown its distinctive character.’ Continue reading →
Chinese Member of Parliament Jenny Kwan and several new and old Chinatown organizations have gathered together to vocalize an appeal for three levels of government to work together to purchase a site directly adjacent to a Chinese Workers Memorial statue that commemorates early Chinese immigrants, workers, and veterans in Chinatown. They suggest that the site be used to develop social housing and community facilities.
There have been many heated discussions over the possible redevelopment that is planned for the site of 105 Keefer Street, adjacent to the Chinatown Workers Memorial. This has led Vancouver East MP, Jenny Kwan from NDP, to hold a press conference on Wednesday at the Memorial statue in Chinatown along with representatives of many other Chinese organizations such as the Chinese Benevolent Association, Canadian Alliance of Chinese Associations, Chinatown Concern Group, and the Chinese Canadian Military veterans. They oppose the purely commercial redevelopment plans that have been proposed in the heart of Chinatown. The purpose of this press conference was also to ask all three levels of government to purchase this site in order to build more housing for seniors, as well as create more community facilities.
105 Keefer Street is in the heart of Chinatown, an area facing the same intense development pressures as Vancouver’s downtown eastside. Plans for a 13-storey tower don’t sit well with local residents. King-mong Chan is an organizer with the Chinatown Concern Group. He says the development will displace local businesses and the Chinese seniors who depend on them. King-mong Chan speaks with Redeye host Jane Williams.
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