On Begging for Foreign Ownership and Doing Nothing While Rents Go Higher and Higher

Tea & Two Slices is a long-running local news round-up by NEEDS frontman and veteran dishwasher Sean Orr, who lives and works in Gastown, deeply aware of his privilege.

Vancouver councillors want city to declare a homelessness emergency. Imagine voting ‘no’ on this. Even though declaring an emergency doesn’t really mean it has any teeth. The BC NDP declared the opioid crisis an ‘emergency’ but didn’t dedicate a single cent to it in the provincial budget.

Reminder: More than half of Vancouver’s homeless population have been homeless for less than a year. This shatters the myth of the permanently hard to house. It shatters the complacency that treats homelessness as an unfortunate but daily fixture of our city. Huge swaths of our population are one paycheque away from becoming homeless. We need to remind people that homelessness isn’t inevitable, and that providing secure housing is a more cost-effective solution than maintaining temporary shelters and incurring additional policing, more mental health services, and higher health care costs.

Meanwhile: One-bedroom apartments in Vancouver cost a whopping $2,150: report. Meaning you’d need to be making $60/hour to afford an average one bedroom.

Nah, but it’s cool…we got a $5 million dollar chandelier: ‘Sad and angry’: Parents frustrated as kindergarten lottery leaves closest school out of range. It turns out letting for-profit developers to build a ton of condos in a small vicinity without paying their fair share for amenities like schools is a terrible recipe for creating healthy, functional communities. Go figure.

Because that’s not what they’re interested in: ‘Push’: How Big Finance Is Driving Up Housing Costs

The “financialization” of housing is an out-of-control global pandemic, driven by the hunger of the financial management industry to find things to buy that will increase in value in a world where too much money is chasing too few assets — and where those assets are returning less and less profit as a result.

And hey, when you have criminals laundering money and pushing up prices, everybody wins, right? B.C. tells inquiry money laundering has warped economy, fuelled opioid crisis. Or maybe that the economy itself is warped.

Landlords aren’t people: Mom forced out of rental home days after giving birth awarded more than $10,000 compensation. The landlord in this story had the gall last year to post on the Vancouver Tenants Union wall that tenants are delusional to think that all landlords are rich and that she is struggling to make ends meet. Sweet, sweet justice.

Meanwhile, in Coquitlam: 200 tenants got their eviction notices from Anthem Properties: Cottonwood building could be torn down for 42-storey highrise and six-storey mid-rise. “When we are asking people in this market to leave good housing to go to housing that is way less affordable, I just think that is a travesty.”

SFU prof spotlighted foreign ownership in Vancouver 30 years ago. I’ve said this exact same thing, too. People blame Chinese buyers for our crisis when we went over there and explicitly begged them to do it.

Vancouver would be cooler if: What B.C. can learn from San Francisco as it builds ‘enhanced’ homeless shelters. We’ve been calling for low barrier shelters for years now. Make the move.

Exhibit B: Seattle council raises cap on sanctioned homeless camps, tiny home villages.

Would never happen here: NYC woman ‘ecstatic’ as judge orders 20 floors cut from already built condo.

Vancouver councillor pitches ‘rent bank’ for cultural spaces at risk of closing. Definitely a stop gap. A loan still has to be repaid and the price of the space can still go up to beyond practical amounts. Tax reductions on the space would be a much better approach to keep the space affordable.

Satire of the day: “Blockades will accomplish nothing,” says man who accomplishes nothing.

Related tweet of the day:

Bonus: That Time the Clash Played Soccer with a Bunch of Vancouver Punks.

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