Day 2 of emergency actions to save low-income housing at the Wonder and Palace hotels…
*1* WEST VAN PROTEST CAMP ONGOING
*2* EMERGENCY ACTION FOR SOCIAL HOUSING NOT HOMELESSNESS
*3* DETAIL INFO (Directions to the protest camp / our demands / backgrounder / Social housing not homelessness news release)
WEST VAN PROTEST CAMP ONGOING
A protest camp to stop Lippman from buying Wonder and Palace hotels has been set up in a greenspace at the corner of Hadden Drive and Eastcot Road in West Vancouver. Supporters of Wonder/Palace tenants will keep a protest camp at the site until the Supreme Court hearing this Wednesday June 13, when we hope that Lippman will withdraw his offer to buy the two buildings.
More than 20 DTES residents set up a picket line in front of Lippman’s opulent home on a tree-lined narrow West Vancouver road Monday evening. They called for Lippman to cancel his offer to buy the Wonder and Palace hotels and, instead, join them in calling for the province to step in and buy the buildings. They said they want Lippman and other developers to recognize that the real estate market is not able to protect low-income peoples’ housing.
The picket closed with a march down the street to a small greenspace median where DTES resident allies struck a bivouac protest camp in support of Wonder and Palace residents. Camper/protester Greg Williams said, “We’re going to stay here where Lippman lives to remind him that he is hurting DTES residents where they live. The difference is that we are just delivering a message, he is threatening them with homelessness.”
See directions to the camp below, either to join, to visit, or to drop off some food or other supplies.
EMERGENCY ACTION FOR SOCIAL HOUSING NOT HOMELESSNESS
TUESDAY JUNE 12
MEET 1PM IN FRONT OF THE CARNEGIE CENTRE
March leaves at 1:15pm
Gather at roughly 1:45pm at the BC Housing office at 369 Terminal Ave for statements from hotel residents and DTES housing activists
The court ordered sale of the Wonder and Palace hotels to notorious hotel gentrifier Stephen Lippman is scheduled to be confirmed in BC Supreme Court on Wednesday June 13. A march will begin at Carnegie on Tuesday, at the 11nth hour, to call on the city or province to step in and stop this sale but buying the buildings and protecting them as low-income housing.
These two buildings are specifically important because they were the first hotels to be served with a new city-injunction mechanism to force negligent owners to clean up their buildings. If the outcome of that injunction effort is the loss of the buildings from the low-income housing stock through rent increases then the city might be even slower to take action against landlords. Low-income hotel residents need better conditions, but they also need their housing. We need hotel upgrades, but we need to put a stop to the upscaling renovations of speculators and investors like Lippman.
**All tenants of the Wonder and Palace hotels should call our 24 hour tenant emergency line if you are threatened by an owner or manager physically, or with loss of tenancy, or if you are harassed. Lawyers from Pivot Legal are on call. 24 hour tenant emergency line: 604-781-7346
* Directions to the picket at Lippman’s house
TRANSIT: There are no buses that go to Lippman’s neighbourhood, the closest just gets 2.5km away. So if you’re going by transit take the seabus to the North Van side and call 604-781-7346. We’ll have someone pick you up.
DRIVING: Hwy 1 Westbound (from Vancouver). Taylor Way exit, towards Hwy 99. Keep right at the fork, follow signs for “Hadden Drive” and merge right onto Hadden Drive. Slight right onto Eastcot Road. Stop at 439 Eastcot Road.
LIPPMAN: Do not buy the Wonder and Palace hotels. Get out of the DTES.
CITY: Buy the Wonder Rooms and Palace hotels immediately
CITY: Close the loopholes in the SRA bylaw to protect the low-income housing stock by adding to the definition of SRO Hotel “conversion”: Raising rents above welfare and pension rent rates
PROVINCE: Implement effective rent controls in the SROs to stop evictions and the emptying and upscaling of buildings by investors.
Hotel residents to BC government: “Save us from renovictions and homelessness”
On Tuesday residents of the Wonder and Palace Hotels will ask BC Housing to buy the buildings they live in. The residents and supporters plan to march from Carnegie Centre to the BC Housing office at 369 Terminal Ave. to demand that the province save them from renovictions and possible homelessness.
The Receiver for the two hotels will be in court on Wednesday with a possible purchaser, Steven Lippman, ready to buy the buildings. Lippman is a notorious gentrifier in the Downtown Eastside. He buys buildings, renovates them, and seeks new tenants who can pay rents far above the welfare shelter allowance of $375. Rents in some Lippman buildings range from $600 to over $800 a month.
The march will begin at Carnegie Centre (401 Main St.) at 1:15 pm and will go to 369 Terminal for 1:45 pm. A news conference will be held at 369 Terminal. Residents of the Wonder and Palace Hotels will speak.
This crisis of 72 potential lost rooms shows that the province should be funding more low income social housing units that people on welfare can afford, and the city should slow down gentrification in the Downtown Eastside.