The City of Vancouver is proposing to gentrify Chinatown through a mass rezoning plan called the CRAP (Chinatown Economic Revitalization Action Plan).
The CRAP will open the floodgates for condo development in Chinatown, raising rents, increasing evictions, and accelerating the displacement of the neighbourhood’s most vulnerable residents and small businesses.
The CRAP proposes drastically increasing building heights (up to 150 feet tall, or 14 stories) and building frontages (up to 200 feet wide), while gutting the existing public consultation process of open houses and public hearings. If the CRAP passes City Council, projects like the 12-story 105 Keefer condo development would not be required to undergo zoning review or public consultation at all.
Instead of approving the CRAP, the City should implement policies to honour the history of Chinatown by ensuring that the neighbourhood remains permanently affordable and welcoming to seniors, workers, and low-income people of all backgrounds.
Sign this letter to tell Mayor Gregor Robertson, City Council, and City staff to:
Reject the mass rezoning plan (“CRAP)” for Chinatown;
Commit to engaging the existing community, especially low-income residents and small businesses, in preparing a new area plan for Chinatown that will stop further gentrification and displacement; and
Implement policies put forward by Chinatown residents, including the demands of Chinatown Concern Group.
Chinatown Concern Group’s demands:
Do not permit any more market-rate developments in Chinatown until the number of new social housing units being developed in the neighbourhood matches the number of new market-rate housing units
Zone Chinatown as a single, unified district
Designate Chinatown as a Heritage Conservation Area
Require that at least 50% of the gross floor area of new developments in Chinatown be for social housing
Define social housing in Chinatown as units rented at no more than the maximum welfare or pension shelter allowance or 30% of OAS/GIS income
Limit building heights to a maximum of 50 feet tall (with 100% social housing projects considered separately)
Limit building frontages to a maximum of 50 feet wide (with not-for-profit developments considered separately)
Meet the community demands for 105 Keefer Street:
Reject the rezoning application by Beedie Living
Direct the City to acquire the 105 Keefer Street site in partnership with the Provincial and Federal governments
Provide 100% social housing on the site, with rents not to exceed the maximum welfare or pension shelter allowance or 30% of OAS/GIS income
Provide an intergenerational, multi-use community space, with an emphasis on serving seniors
Support culturally appropriate Chinatown retail through business-friendly policies such as property tax deductions or other subsidies
Prohibit chain stores (such as has been done in San Francisco Chinatown)
Hi everyone! My name is 何盈欣 Beverly Ho, and I’m so honored and happy to be on staff with the 唐人街關注組 Chinatown Concern Group! I’ve been involved with the group for around a year now, as well as with 青年長者合作組 Youth for Chinese Seniors and 華埠行動小組Chinatown Action Group. Getting to know CCG has been amazing; their superstar personalities, struggles, values, and victories! I know it’ll be challenging and hard work, but I’m excited to be learning and growing and fighting with Concern Group and CCAP!
The Carnegie Community Action Project (CCAP) is hiring a bilingual Chinese community organizer to work with Chinatown Concern Group (CCG) members to build towards a Chinatown that centres on its low-income working-class community. This includes building the leadership of working-class community members in the fight for their neighbourhood, against gentrification and for affordable housing.
這是每週三天的職位，為期至少兩年，時薪$23。This is a three day per week position ($23/hr) for at least 2 years.
America’s cities may be home to individuals belonging to thousands of cultural groups and myriad socioeconomic statuses. But these urban centers are surprisingly no melting pot. As Nate Silver pointed out in several infographics,diverse cities are often the most segregated, especially at the neighborhood level.
To add to this gloomy reality, today’s urban developers often use subtle tactics to keep cities economically and racially divided. “The fair housing laws passed in the last half-century have forced racists to devise whole new methods of discrimination, subtler but serving the same purpose: to keep people of color out of ‘white’ spaces,” author Daniel Kolitz wrote on the online culture publication Hopes & Fears.
The waitress at Maxim’s Restaurant raises her eyebrows. We are already picking at a massive plate of fried rice with diced Chinese duck, sausage and bacon. Now we would like to try black pepper beef and Portuguese curry chicken.
“Maybe you would like …” she points to the lunch special.
Yes, it’s a good deal – only $9.95 for a set meal that includes a dinner roll, cream of broccoli soup, fried spaghetti or pork and gravy, plus coffee or tea. But it is the pepper beef and curry chicken that we came for.
One of the first things Chinese immigrant Sau Fung Lam did upon arriving in Chinatown 24 years ago was go to the local grocery store to try to buy an apple.
She approached the grocer and opened her mouth, as if the English words she didn’t know would, by some miracle, slip out. They didn’t. So she instead formed a circle with her fingers and thumbs, a gesture the grocer seemed to understand.
She was handed a large onion.
Since Lam moved from East China to Chicago in the early 1990s, Chinatown has flourished from a community that was partially Chinese where residents mostly spoke English into one where Lam can easily communicate in Chinese. Most businesses, restaurants and agencies operate bilingually, since the majority of residents speak a Chinese dialect, and nearly 65 percent are foreign-born, experts say.
In order for us to build a more equitable and brighter future for Chinatown, we need you to get involved! At this time, this is how you can get involved. Regardless of whether or not you speak English or Chinese, there are ways you can get involved!
Chinatown Concern Group
– Mainly consists of Chinese residents of Chinatown and Downtown Eastside
– A group under the Carnegie Community Centre Association
– We see that Chinatown is changing very rapidly. Chinatown is looking less and less like Chinatown and the Chinese community in Chinatown is being marginalized. Therefore we organize together, through meetings, discussions, and action, to protect Chinatown
– We are concerned about Chinatown’s future affordability and want to see more low-income housing and seniors housing in Chinatown.
We initiated a petition campaign calling for an immediate moratorium on all new market development projects in Chinatown until there is comprehensive community consultation and clear policies to protect the future of Vancouver’s Chinatown.