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RELEASE: OneCity Vancouver in full support of supportive housing development at 8th and Arbutus

Housing, safety and poisoned drug crises demand action, not court cases and delay

VANCOUVER (Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Territories) - OneCity Vancouver today reaffirmed its support of the supportive housing development at 2086-2098 West 7th Avenue and 2091 West 8th Avenue, and its opposition to court-driven delays in getting the badly-needed social housing built.

“We had an extensive public hearing around this project, and the results were clear: Council voted 8-3 to approve the project,” says Christine Boyle, Councillor, OneCity Vancouver. “We have residents struggling, sleeping in parks and tents. This supportive housing is badly needed now, without further delays.”

The councillors opposed were TEAM councillor Colleen Hardwick, NPA councillor Melissa de Genova, and ABC councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung. All are running in the 2022 municipal election.

The supportive housing development, fully funded by senior levels of government, was the subject of a marathon public hearing process. Hundreds of speakers spoke over six days of public hearing. Following their input, City Council voted decisively to approve the project.

The project at West 8th and Arbutus is very similar to another project in East Vancouver - 1406-1410 East King Edward Avenue. This project passed unanimously and has not been the subject of court cases.

“For too long, we’ve concentrated poverty and hardship in the Downtown Eastside,” says Matthew Norris, City Council candidate, OneCity Vancouver. “This isn’t fair: not for the Downtown Eastside, not for Chinatown, not for Strathcona, and not for those in need of housing. And it makes everyone less safe. We need shovels in the ground, not more delays, not more court cases.”

Housing is a human right. Making that right real means giving people a choice of where they want to live, and where they will have the best chance of healing, spread in neighbourhoods across Vancouver. If Vancouver is to be truly safe for everyone, we cannot afford to delay: we must build social and supportive housing everywhere. 

This court action takes place alongside the continued existence of a tent city on East Hastings, and ongoing tent encampments in public parks. These visible manifestations of the city’s housing crisis throw the need for social housing into sharp relief. In order for our city to be safe for all, social and supportive housing must be approved and built in every neighbourhood of Vancouver, and across BC, as quickly as possible. 

OneCity Vancouver’s platform will prioritize the city’s leafiest, healthiest neighbourhoods for the construction of social and supportive housing. This will end the concentration of poverty in the Downtown Eastside, building a safer city for all. It will also give the people living in these new social housing units the space and dignity they need to heal.

The platform also includes the construction of temporary modular housing on publicly-owned land - to end the homelessness crisis and ensure dignity for all.

Election Day is October 15.


OneCity Vancouver communications committee

[email protected]

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