Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Is the DTES becoming an insane asylum?

Cameron Gray, manager of housing for the City recently made a statement that with the number of supportive housing in the DTES that the City is making the DTES into an insane asylum.

The three buildings that DERA operated is in the process of getting new operators and from this instruction it says that BC Housing wants the buildings to convert from affordable housing to supportive housing.

In the BC Housing web page. The very first paragraph of the EOI states that ... these calls are intended for non-profit societies and/or private operators interested in partnering with BC Housing to provide housing with support services.

We do not need the 300 units of Solheim, Pendera and Tellier be made into more supportive housing. I attempted to go to the 1:30 site meeting on Tuesday at Tellier for those interested in seeing the properties to clarify this. When I arrived there no one knew of any meeting and the Tellier community room was empty.

I then went to DERAdvocay, next door, and was told that the meeting happened at 10:00a.m. that morning. Earlier I phoned Pat McSherry, a director and secretary of DERA, and told her that someone from DERA should attend this meeting and make sure that supportive housing does not happen to the former DERA buildings.

Pat McSherry told me at 1:45 p.m. that the meeting was held at 10:00 a.m. that morning. So has BC Housing already decided who the new operators will be.

Where are the housing advocates whose actions focus on wanting a National Housing Policy rather then devoting some of their resources to making sure the DTES has normalized housing.

Years ago the federal government downloaded social housing to the province (BC Housing's budget is $1billion yearly for 100,000 units) so why aren't the advocates and the NDP advocating for a provincial housing policy but then I am sure that none of them are aware of the $budget of BC Housing. They should be putting all their resources into making sure that the DTES has a diversity of housing in the DTES and not a predominance of supportive housing which housing is nothing more than a jail cell (complete with bars, locked doors, hired security, and expensive state-of-the- art securiy cameras see the LUX supportive housing run by Rain City (reception area)) for the mentally and drug addicted population of the City.

Also I am fed up with Sabrina, the E/D of DERA, saying that I was voted off the Board of Directors of DERA. DERA attempted to do so on February 12 2010 but the process was flawed (illegal). And until I get a letter from DERA's lawyer stating that the process was legal, I am still a director of DERA.

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