VANCOUVER — With no notice and few public details, BC Housing has notified residents of Stamps Place in Strathcona that they are collecting expressions of interest to sell the properties to non-profit organizations.
OneCity fully supports residents of Stamps Place and other BC Housing projects, such as Nicholson Towers in the West End, who are calling for a halt to this process and for real consultations with affected communities, including First Nations.
We want these questions answered now:
1. What are the terms of the transfer of these lands and buildings to non-profits, and how is BC Housing valuing them? If it is highest-and-best-use valuation, given the current real-estate market in Vancouver, we have concerns about the amount of money this will generate for BC Housing without creating new living spaces.
2. Do all current residents have tenant agreements that set out their tenure of occupancy? If they do not, we need to give them time to renegotiate those agreements to guarantee they will have a home if and when the transfer is completed.
3. Will BC Housing continue to provide one central database for people who need supportive and affordable housing, including waiting lists? There should be one point-of-entry for people looking for homes they can afford and that meet their needs.
The Province and BC Housing are attempting to off-load their social housing properties, responsibilities and all the risk onto non-profits. This has the potential to be a lot of Little Mountains, right across Vancouver, and City Hall needs to speak up on behalf of residents who must be consulted, and for housing that low- and middle-income people can afford.
Photo by: Steve Bohus