REVOLUTION IN PROGRESS.
While 24 folks occupied the Paris annex condo development in DTES today, many more linked arms blocking the doors so more cops couldnt get in, including Elders and disabled folks who used our big beautiful bodies and mobility aids to increase our collective strength.We chanted “NO CONDOS IN THE DTES!”, “NO HOUSING, NO PEACE!”, and “WHAT DO WE WANT? HOUSING! WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW!!” in solidarity with all those fighting the condo onslaught in this area and the unwillingness of the City to do anything about it which reflects & respects the needs of this community.
“Condos at this site would be a gentrification bomb in the heart of the DTES.
The 100-block of East Hastings is symbolically important because it includes single room occupancy housing for about 400 low-income people.
It also includes key gathering places where low-income DTES residents feel comfortable, including:
– Carnegie Community Centre which serves 5000 low-income people and is a hub for food and recreational activities.
– Insite which ensures access to critical health services for thousands of IV drug users..
– Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre which is a drop in and safe-space for thousands of low-income women.
– Aboriginal Front Door which is the only centre in the area run by and for Indigenous people.
Bringing condos to this block could change all of this. Condos cause higher property values, higher rents in SROs, and displacement of low income people from the SROs as we have seen with Woodwards. This contradicts the “without displacement” part of the city’s policy of “revitalization without displacement” in the DTES. The condo-social housing mixed development at Woodward’s caused rents in neighbouring hotels to increase and pushed out low-income residents. Expensive restaurants and boutique stores sprang up and more private security guards and police pushed low-income people out of public spaces. This is why we want 100% social housing, not 80% condos with 20% social housing.”