November 3, 2016 – The Villager
BY KARI LINDBERG | With passionate chants of “Racism No More,” “New York City Not For Sale” and “De Blasio, Step Down,” members the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and Lower East Side kicked off their protest outside City Hall last Wednesday.
Around 100 protestors, mainly older Chinese and Latinos, came out alongside activists, wearing signs in English, Spanish and Chinese saying “De Blasio, Step Down” and “Stop Ethnic Racism.” They called on Mayor Bill de Blasio to leave office for failing to protect Asian, African-American and Latino communities from being displaced.
July, 11, 2016 – Hoodline (Youtube link for documentary)
Approximately 18,000 San Franciscans live in single-room occupancy hotels in the city, the vast majority of them (73 percent) in Chinatown. The buildings, with their small living quarters, community bathrooms and community kitchens, are some of the city’s few remaining remnants of affordable housing.
A new documentary short, Home Is a Hotel, tells the story of a mother and daughter who share an 8×10′ SRO unit in a private, for-profit building in Chinatown. Directed by local filmmakers Todd Sills and Kevin Wong, the film is currently streaming as part of the PBS Online Film Festival, an annual three-week showcase of short films.
Apr. 26, 2016 – Check Your Head (with Video)
Vancouver’s landscape is changing as glassy towers rise from the rubble of what was once affordable housing. People are being displaced at astounding rates as housing costs in parts of the city have increased by 300 per cent in the last twelve years. Local activists say that low-income people in Vancouver are experiencing a “housing crisis.” As of March 2016 the average rental cost for a one bedroom apartment in Vancouver is $1079 dollars, while folks living on welfare receive as little at $610 a month. To make matters worse, Vancouver’s housing vacancy rate has been plummeting, making it even harder for low-income people to find affordable units in the city. Vancouver’s low-income neighborhoods, the Downtown Eastside (DTES), Chinatown and Strathcona, have become the epicenter of the city’s housing crisis; where ramshackle hotels sit beside shiny minimalist condominiums and trendy cafes. Once a haven for low-income residents, the neighborhood is now seeing a decline in “welfare rate” housing coinciding with a marked increase in upscale developments. This is happening alongside a pattern of gentrification in Vancouver, wherein middle to upper-class people move into low-income neighbourhoods subsequently increasing property values. The process is essentially carving up “zones of exclusion” in the neighborhood, as longtime low-income residents can not afford to enter these newly gentrified spaces.