TEA & TWO SLICES: On Hiring From Within And The Anti-Gentrification Front (Splitters)

    March 21, 2013.

    by Sean Orr | The great vindication? Study finds number of neighbourhood’s social housing units actually on the rise. “These residents won’t be eating at Pidgin or drinking IPAs across the street at Bitter or at whatever new boite turns up nearby. But they aren’t leaving the historic area either, according to the report, despite the upward trajectory of their neighbourhood’s price point”. This has been my entire point all along. Yes, change is happening, but unless you’re a wide-eyed anarcho-syndicalist who is unable or refuses to see nuances in capitalism – that projects like 60 West Cordova and independent restaurants like L’Abattoir (who in turn hire grumpy bloggers like me) can be sensitive to demographic concerns – then the debate is purely, uselessly academic.

    So how do the “Marxists” respond? Well, they first held a meeting (rough video facsimile at the top), wherein they decided that the City lied! City skews numbers to hide loss of low income housing – 430 units lost in the last year.

    The city report, which is in fact only a slideshow presentation for a public relations campaign, suggests that the number of low-income singles housing in the downtown core has increased…However, Ward’s Tyee article fails to take into account that the same slideshow also states that out of the 4,482 low-income SRO units in 2012, only 24% of the units rent at welfare rate… The problem is that the city’s SRA By-law literally does not count these units as losses in the affordable housing stock, regardless of what price they climb to.

    Ok. Fair enough. But what does a restaurant have to do with that? Raise the bloody welfare rates now and the point is moot.

    But how do the self-styled class warriors respond? They steal the little sandwich-board sign from out front of Save On Meats. Because that’s how the Russian Revolution started, am I right?

    Related: saying you will hire from within the community sure sounds good, but it doesn’t always work: Businesses strain to retain Downtown Eastside workers. “Just like the neighbourhood residents, they’re figuring out how to succeed in their own way.”

    Meanwhile, did you know that a middling pizzeria is responsible for the wholesale displacement of Quebecois squeegee kids and patchouli-covered trust-fund hippies on Commercial Drive? Yup. Pizzeria allegedly vandalized by Vancouver anti-gentrification group. Would it be too predictable of me to now form an Anti “Anti Gentrification Front” Front?

    And check out these fucking gentrifiers: Introducing the Brewed Awakening feature tap at Pat’s Pub & Brewhouse.

    Sorry, but Canada was never the No. 1 place to live. I don’t know if it was on purpose, but I love how the first word there is sorry. So Canadian!

    Bonus: Victoria’s Johnson Street Bridge: a thoroughfare of song.

    • J

      Those so called “anti gentrifiers” appear to be
      1.White
      2. Middle Class
      3. Male

      They should not be giving us this bull#$% excuse that they represent the poor or the disenfranchised. They just get a high from stealing a sandwich board because of their boring, middle class privileged existence living off Mommy and Daddy’s money. Congratulations losers.

    • Robert

      “These residents won’t be eating at Pidgin or drinking IPAs across the street at Bitter or at whatever new boite turns up nearby. But they aren’t leaving the historic area either, according to the report, despite the upward trajectory of their neighbourhood’s price point”

      Sorry, but where did you pull that quote from? I can’t find it anywhere in the article.

    • Scout Magazine

      9th paragraph.

    • lindsay

      this statement is the truth.”To make matters worse, the same city report also admits that many of the new social housing units are themselves not affordable: “Less than half of new non-market downtown single units [are] renting at welfare rate due to lack of sufficient subsidy.” For example, 70 units of housing in Wall Corporation’s massive redevelopment at 955 East Hastings, as well as nine units of the same in the Sequel 138 condo project next to the Carnegie centre, are termed “non-market” and “affordable rental” despite their actual price. Incredibly, the city is calling these units “non-market” even though they will all rent at market rates expected to exceed $900/month.” one of the issues is the CoV definition is social housing is very loose. of the 20% (which is far too low) what is welfare rate, what is non market, what is market? are they all to be included in the 20% (seemingly yes) those numbers will also NOT support the 1 to 1 SRO replacement and will cause displacement of residents. the real story is that we need 1 to 1 welfare rate SRO replacement, we need welfare rate family housing, we need affordable 1, 2, 3, bedroom apts for singles and families that are in the lower end of the middle income bracket. all of that is not happening. the condo towers that we recently approved in the west end are proof of that.

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