The pace of gentrification, high numbers of homeless and loss of social housing in Vancouver has been staggering and continues to move forward as we get closer and closer to the 2010 Olympics.
Unfortunately, the long term residents and families of Little Mountain, some of which have been in the community for 30+ years, have been unable to escape what seems to be the norm here in Vancouver, the swift loss of social housing. In November 2008, the city began boarding up Little Mountain. The city continues to board up around the few remaining families that refuse to leave as developers wait to tear it down to make way for market value homes. They claim it is "for their safety". This has turned the once thriving housing project into an eerie ghost town.
On June 1st 2009, BC Housing applied to the city of Vancouver for both building and demolition permits without a plan in place or any consulting with the community at large. At this point in time, when the city is in dire need of housing, Little Mountain sits quiet with no plans to move forward or house anyone.
The tenants of LIttle Mountain have deep roots in the neighbourhood and many volunteer based services in the community have suffered due to the dislocation of the tenants. Many larger programs in Vancouver have their roots in and/or originate from LIttle Mountain. A few of them are:
- Current Riley Park Community Centre
- ESL for Adults
- Block Watch
- Community Police and Community Liason
- Vancouver Food Bank
- Little Mountain Neighbourhood House
- Riley Park Branch Library on Main Street
Please let your Vancouver/Canadian representatives and officials know that this is unacceptable and that we demand social housing, not only here in Vancouver, but across Canada. The housing crisis has gone on long enough.
"THIS IS NOT A ONE-SITE, NOR A ONE CITY ISSUE, WE ARE SETTING A PRECEDENT PROVINCE WIDE. This is not related to just one site, one neighbourhood, one community or one city. Given the public statements made, this issue relates to how ALL OTHER tenants, residents and surrounding communities will be or can expect to be treated, when this comes to another (theirs/yours) neighbourhood" - Little Mountain pamphlet
Many thanks to Ingrid and Sammy for helping to create this video.