Wednesday Jan 11, 2016 

 

Community

Losing Chinatown

Gentrification swallowing up downtown

Godfrey Tang, Beverly Ho, CCG

 

Rally in Vancouver residents affected by gentrification.


he Chinatown Concern Group, members of which include Chinese-speaking Chinatown residents, held a rally today at the open house hosted by City of Vancouver and developer Beedie Living to protest Beedie’s application to build 110 more units of gentrifying market condos in the heart of Chinatown.

 

Developer Beedie insists on building a market development beside the culturally significant memorial monument to Chinese-Canadian workers and soldiers on Keefer Street. Chinatown Concern Group continues to oppose developer Beedie’s fourth rezoning application for a 12-storey market development condo at 105 Keefer St., which will not prioritize the low income community but continue to displace them and raise land values in the neighborhood.



​"Our Chinatown is being bought up by developers. What's going to be left in Chinatown for people like me when the dust settles?" says Ivy Su despairingly, a resident in the neighborhood and Chinatown Concern Group member. Vancouver's Chinatown has seen an onslaught of market housing towers in recent years as the City of Vancouver and developers continue to push for market development that excludes and displaces the historic working class Chinese community. As a result, Concern Group has the following demands:

• Reject Beedie Living’s rezoning application.

• No market development at the 105 Keefer site.

• For all 3 levels of government to acquire the site, as each has recently pledged to build social and rental housing as well as recognized the important heritage of Chinatown that must be protected.

• 100% social housing at this site, at shelter rate, or 30% of the OAS (Old Age Security) income.

• An intergenerational, multi-use community space, with an emphasis on underserved Chinese seniors.

"The government needs to respect Chinatown and the Chinese-Canadians that built and continue to depend on it." says Mrs. Kong, an elderly Chinatown resident and Chinatown Concern Group member​, who is still awaiting justice for her deceased husband’s family’s head tax payment. “This condo is overshadowing and gravely disrespecting the bronze statues [at Chinatown Memorial Square] representing the continuous history of sacrifices that Chinese-Canadians have made for this country. Why is the government enabling and encouraging developers to disenfranchise the existing and vulnerable Chinese community? We are the ones who need housing the most.”

 

 

 

 

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