Affordable housing can be built at an affordable price

Pre-fabricated modular homes could be temporary now, permanent later Michael Geller Special to the Vancouver Sun Should really poor people be living next to really rich people in expensive housing on Vancouver’s waterfront? This is a question on many peoples’ minds following the recent revelations about the cost of the southeast False Creek social housing. But it was also a question being asked in 1975 when plans were being completed for the first phase redevelopment of the south shore of False Creek. And it was asked again in the early 1990s when the Westin Bayshore Hotel parking lot was rezoned for a new community. Read more

Homelessness plan needed said Auditor General

Government lacks clear profile of population Jonathan Fowlie Vancouver Sun The provincial government currrently has no accurate method to track the number of homeless people in the province. The provincial government currrently has no accurate method to track the number of homeless people in the province. The B.C. government lacks a comprehensive plan to deal with homelessness, Auditor-General John Doyle said in a highly critical report released Thursday, adding that he believes homelessness in B.C. is getting worse. Photograph by Ward Perrin Vancouver Sun Read more

The Universal Solution

An interview with Aprodicio Laquian By Mark Hume Globe and Mail Update To solve the problems plaguing the Downtown Eastside, human settlement expert Aprodicio Laquian is advocating a plan that explores successful development models in the city, the region and the world. Aprodicio Laquian is an emeritus professor of human settlement at the University of British Columbia, and author of Beyond Metropolis, a book exploring ways to improve the lives of slum-dwellers in mega-cities such as Mumbai and Manila. He moved to Vancouver from New York in 1991. When was the first time you saw the Downtown Eastside? What surprised you? I first saw the Downtown Eastside in 1976 during the first United Nations Conference on Human Settlements – Habitat I. I was accompanying a delegation of leaders of squatter and slum-dweller organizations from Manila and they asked me to show them a Canadian low-income area. I was not surprised at what I saw in the Downtown Eastside. Still, I could not help but wonder how a beautiful and affluent city like Vancouver could allow a place like the Downtown Eastside to deteriorate when there are so many successful models of inner-city redevelopment that Vancouver city authorities could emulate. Read more

B.C. architect building toward a solution for everyone

Globe and Mail Vancouver architect Gregory Henriquez talks about his innovative mixed-income, mixed use development that will see wealthy and poor residents sharing the same facility. Gregory Henriquez is a Vancouver architect and author of Towards an Ethical Architecture. He designed the Woodward’s building, a mixed-income development in the Downtown Eastside. The project is a bold experiment: When it opens later this year, the development will see wealthy condo dwellers living cheek by jowl with the poor, who occupy 200 subsidized units. Read more