Comment 67341

By Undustrial (registered) - website | Posted August 04, 2011 at 12:51:08 in reply to Comment 67326

My experience in Vancouver's ghetto suggests that they're doing all they can to get rid of it. One-by-one, the buildings are being replaced by gated, skyscraping condo-towers. It was pretty ugly last time I was out there, and the Olympics only made it much worse.

The problem is, as it was with Gastown before it, is that the former poor residents of the area will just move somewhere else nearby. It's not like they're going to get off heroine and buy a $600 000 condominium just because their SRO rooming house was demolished. The Lower East Side is a destination for a large part of western Canada's desperate people - and unless a wide range of issues are actually addressed - poverty, drug addiction, First Nations, housing prices etc - it's not going away.

What's not often mentioned about the Woodward's building is that prior to the current redevelopment project, it stood vacant for years. About a decade ago it became an epicentre for the area's tensions and was squatted by homeless area residents who planned to turn the entire thing, not just a few units, into affordable housing. There was a lengthy encampment, a big court case and in the end it was to be redeveloped instead with a few token units of social housing to placate the residents (a friend with the BC housing authority admitted as much to me).

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